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60000981 S-t- 






€bt patrtarct^ate of aie^an^rta* 






Book I. — Its Geography. 
,f II. — Its Liturgies and Ecclesiology. 
f, III. — Its Controversies on the Filioque^ Azymes, and 




Cl^t patrfarctiate of ai(]ratdrr(a* 



aStadftn of Stacibillc ffiolbgc, (Sost €rrinsttir. 






lie . ^^1. ^^"^ 

^ ^ 






A R T E M I U S, 





JiTj^to |^t0torfi of (t^z (Efiurcl^ of Sb* ^tf^MMm 




1. The sources whence a History of the Church of Alexan- sonrcMof 

■,..,,■,.1 ^ . ^ „ Alexandrian 

dria IS to be derived^ are so many and so various^ and some of History, 
them so little known^ that it will be perhaps useful to particular- 
ize them. They naturally divide themselves into two branches; 
those which treat of the whole^ and those which only embrace a 
portion^ of Alexandrian History. 

2. There are four works which relate the Annals of the Hutorians 
Egyptian Church from the preaching of 8. Mark to the time at treated^n 
which their respective authors lived ; those of Le Quien^ Benau- j^® ^ ° ® ^ 
dot. Sollerius. and Wansleb. 

3. The treatise De Patriarchatu Alexandrino of the learned Le Qoien. 
Dominican Father^ Michael Le Quien^ is contained in the 
Second Volume of his Oriens Ckristianus, pp. 329 — 368. The 

plan of this work is well known. It commences with a general 
sketch of the rise^ progress^ rights^ privileges^ and character of 
the Church of Alexandria : of the heresies by which it has been 
infested, and the duties which were claimed from it by the 
Church Catholic. It proceeds to a list of the Patriarchs^ both 
heretical and Melchite ; giving^ under each^ a slight and brief 
review of his actions. It concludes with a catalogue of all the Sees 
which are known to have been its sufiragans; and a list under each^ 


of all the Prelates who are recorded as having filled that par* 
ticular See. The patient industry^ accuracy^ fairness^ and 
moderation of this work are above praise : it did not^ however, 
receive the last touches of its author ; and occasionally self- 
contradictions may be discovered in it. It is evident also from 
many accidental hints that the writer was not acquainted with 
Arabic; a circumstance which must considerably detract from 
the worth of such a history. Nevertheless, it is very valuable as an 
outhne which may be filled up from other sources ; and it is the 
only complete history whi(;h we possess of the Catholic Church 
of Alexandria. 
Renaadot. 4. Very different is the character of the next work I have to 
mention ^ the ^^ History of the Jacobite Patriarchs of Alexan- 
dria/' written by the learned Eusebe Renaudot. It extends 
from the time of S. Mark to the year 1703; but, after the great 
schism, leaving the Catholic succession of Patriarchs, it confines 
itself to the heretical successors of Dioscorus. It is extracted 
principally frojn the *' Patriarchal History ;" that is to say, the 
history of the Jacobite Patriarchs commenced by Severus, Bishop 
of Aschumin, and carried on by Michael of Tanis, Mauhoub the 
son of Mansour, Mark the son of Zaraa, and others, as far as the 
conclusion of the Patriarchate of Cyril the son of Laklak ; that 
is to say, down to the year 1243, The immense learning of 
Renaudot, his acquaintance with nearly thirty languages, his 
devotion to Eastern literature, and the advantage which he en- 
joyed in being able to consult the unrivalled collection of Manu- 
scripts in the King's Library at Paris, have rendered his work, 
so far as it goes, more complete than probably any other scholar 
could have made it. Besides his translations from the historians 
whom I have just mentioned, and whose works yet remain 
manuscript, he has enriched his history from other writers, both 
such had been already printed in his time, as Eutychius and 
Elmacinus, and those which have been given to the world since, 
as is the case with Makrizi. His pages also embrace very co- 
pious accounts of the succession of Caliphs, and of the rise and 
fall of the various Mahometan Dynasties ; and occasionally refer 
to the doings or sufferings of the CathoUc Patriarchs. But with 
all these merits, the work has also all the faults of Renaudot ; it 
is insufferably long, tedious and confused; learning is wasted 


in the discussion of points known to all the world ; and the 
thread of the history broken and taken up again in the most 
perplexing manner imaginable. In this place we may also 
mention the Ditmtrsm of the same author de Patriarcha 
Alexandrino, pp. 365^-466 of his Collection of Oriental 

5. The next work I shall mention is that of Wansleb^ a wansieb. 
Dominican Missionary in Egypt. It also relates entirely to the 
Jacobite succession ; and had the merit of being the first work 

in which their history was introduced to Europe. It is divided 
into seven parts. The first treats of the constitution of the Jaco- 
bite Church j the second of its customs and present state ; the 
third of its belief; the fourth of its ceremonies ; the fifth of its 
canons : the sixth gives a catalogue of its Patriarchs ; and the 
seventh of its principal writers. The small size of this volume^ 
its continual inaccuracies, and the scanty information which it 
furnishes on any subject^ renders it nearly useless, except for 
occasional reference. The catalogue of Patriarchs is translated 
from the Arabic of Abu^lberkat ; with a continuation by later 
hands in the manuscript which Wansieb consulted, 

6. The fourth history is the '^ Chronological Series of souerius. 
Alexandrian Patriarchs/' written by the Jesuit, John Baptist 
SoUerius; and prefixed to the fifth volume of June, in the 
BoUandist Acts of the Saints. This treatise, which fills a 
hundred and sixty closely printed folio pages, is little more 

than an amplification of the work of Wansieb. SoUerius, 
besides his general acquaintance with Ecclesiastical history, had 
little to fit him for the task ; he was not acquainted with the 
Eastern languages ; he had access to no manuscripts ; nor had 
he any private sources of information, except a communication 
from the Jesuit Bemati, then a missionary in Ethiopia. The 
consequence is that he relies too much on the comparatively 
worthless materials which were in his possession ; he is anxious 
to reconcile dates with each other, which are none of them 
consistent with truth ; and he endeavours to settle minute 
points of chronology in times when an approximation to accuracy 
is all that can be hoped for. His treatise does not pretend to 
be a history, and, except for its dates, adds little to our know- 


arch of 


TClnn^'I 'n^ff, 


ledge of the Alexandrian Chureli. Of the Catholic Patriarchs 
this writer takes hardly any notice. 

7. Besides the works which I have mentioned^ the latest of 
which only comes down to the year 1730) I have had two 
other sources of information. I appUed in the spring of 
1844 to His late Holiness^ Hierotheus^ then CathoUc Patriarch 
of Alexandria^ for the history of his predecessors since the 
beginning of the eighteenth century; and the results of that 
inquiry will be found in their proper place. I also obtained^ 
through the kindness of a Jacobite Priest^ a complete Ust of the 
Patriarchs of that sect trom Dioscorus to Peter VII., who now 
£lls that post ; and from the same quarter I also received some 
interesting information as to the present state of the Jacobites 
in Egypt. 

8. I come now to speak of those authors who have treated 
of a part of the period which this work embraces. The first of 
these is Eutychius. Of his history of the Catholic Patriarchs 
of Alexandria I have spoken in treating of his own Patriarch- 
ate ; and it is needless therefore to say anything further here^ 
than that I believe that nothing which he relates of interest 
down to the time when his annals terminate, namely the year 938^ 
will be found to have been omitted in this work. Without pro- 
fessing any very great obligations to him, I may yet observe 
that some of the facts which he relates in the eighth, ninth, 
and tenth centuries, are mentioned only by himself. 

9. The next author whom I shall name is the Jacobite 
Elmacinus, as translated and edited by Erpenius. His Saracenic 
History only incidentally mentions the Jacobite Patriarchs of 
Alexandria ; but his accuracy and truth stand very high : and 
when he fixes a date, his testimony is to be received beyond that 
of any other author. I have in the history already given his 
character ; and need therefore say nothing more of him here. 

10. I will next mention the Mahometan Makrizi, who, 
while he draws great part of his information from Elmacinus, 
nevertheless adds considerably to it, and is highly to be com- 
mended for his accuracy and fairness. Of his work, which 
extends to the year 1327, I have also spoken in the proper 


11. The "History of Dynasties," written by Abu^pharaj, Abnipiwno. 
better known by his hame of Gregory Bar-Hebrseus, and trans- 
lated and edited by Poeocke, is also not without its value as a 
contribution to Alexandrian History. We are frequently in- 
debted to it for some hint as to the actions of the Caliphs, 

which may serve to clear up pqints left in the dark by Elmacinus 
or Makrizi. 

12. I now come to speak of the Ethiopic Church. The charac- Ludoiph. 
ter of LudolpVs History, and Commentary on his History, is 

too well known to need any observations here. It is only 
wonderfiil that a man possessing an acquaintance with the 
Ethiopic language, which has been attained by no other 
European before or since his time, should have added so little 
to our knowledge of that country. The facts which are to be 
gleaned from this vast folio lie scattered thinly among the heap 
of rubbish with which they are surrounded ; and his ignorance 
of everything but the language itself, his absurd confidence in 
some worthless Ethiopic compositions, and his blind prejudice, 
manifest themselves throughout. 

13. The "Church History of Ethiopia'' of Dr. Michael Micbaei 
Greddes is one of the most despicable compositions which was 

ever inflicted on the public. His only qualification for historian 
of that country was his knowledge of Portuguese, and a tolerable 
acquaintance with the various works in which the proceedings 
of the missionaries in that country are related. His prejudice 
against everything connected with Bome is such, that nothing 
can be taken upon his testimony : his principal value lies in his 
pointing out original sources of information. He had been 
Chaplain to the British Factory at Lisbon ; and was under the 
patronage of Bishop Burnet. 

14. A much fairer work is the "History of Christianity in xacroze. 
Ethiopia,'' written by the celebrated La Croze. It does not 
pretend to the same fulness as Geddes, and is derived from nearly 

the same sources : but, although a Protestant, the author is 
unable, like the English Divine, to see nothing but excellence 
in the Ethiopian, or faults in the Roman, Church. 

15. The first book of this History extends from the Foundation Rrst Book. 
of the Church of Alexandria to the rise of the Nestorian heresy. 
Besides the ordinary Church historians, such as Eusebius, 


Sozomen^ and Socrates^ the works of 8. Athanasius are of 
course my chief authority. But I am also bound to express 
my obligation to the very able Life of S. Dionysius by Byseus 
the BoUandist ; to the Propaganda edition of the works of the 
same Father; to the Benedictine Life of S. Athanasius^ and 
to Tillemont's Annals of that Patriarch. In a less degree^ 
De la Rue^s Life of Origen and Huet's Origeniana have been 
of service to these pages. 
Second 16. The secoud book comprises the controversy on the In- 


carnation^ from the first outbreak of Nestorius, to the deposition 
of Dioscorus. Here, of course, I am principally indebted to 
the works of S. Cyril; to Tillemont^s Life of that Father; to 
Gamier's edition of Marius Mercator ; to the two editions of 
S. Leo^s works, — the one by Cacciari, the other by the Bal- 
lerini: and to the very accurate chronological researches of 

Third Book. 17. Thc third book comprises the history of the Alexandrian 
Church, from the commencement of the great schism to the 
subjection of both Catholic and Jacobite Communions to the 
arms of the Caliphs. Here we begin to derive assistance from 
the works of Eutychius, Elmacinus, Makrizi, and Severus : 
Liberatus, Evagrius, and the Chronicon of Victor are also our 
guides. The Patriarchate of S. John the Almoner is indebted 
to the labours of Stilting the BoUandist in the fourth volume of 
September in the Acts of the Saints; — ^and the Epistles of 
S. Gregory throw some light on the Alexandrian annals of that 
period. To the Life of S. John the Almoner, in the second 
volume of the BoUandist January, I am less indebted. 

Fourth 18. In the fourth book, which extends from the Conquest of 

Ararou to the Vizirate of Saladin, Severus and his continuers 
are my chief guides. Of the Catholic Church, when Eutychius 
deserts us, we know nothing more than can be picked up by 
incidental notices of the Byzantine historians. These are gene- 
rally few and far between ; with the exception of a tolerably 
detailed account of the proceedings of Athanasius II. afforded 
in the prolix pages of George Pachymeres. For the Crusades, 
so far as they affected Egypt, I have depended principally on 
Wilken^s Geschichte der Kreuzziige, and the authors alleged by 
him. I have also derived, in Jacobite history generally, very 


important assistance from the Chronicle of Gregory Bar-Hebrseus^ 
as epitomized in the second volume of the Bibliotheca Orientalis 
of Asseman. 

19. The fifth book embraces the period between the elevatian Fifth Book, 
of Saladin and the first interference of the Portuguese in 
Ethiopia. Here we are worse ofT for materials than at any other 
period. Its most important event is the great confessional con- 
troversy, — and the remarkable history of Mark the son of 
Kunbar. But from A.n. 1243, when the Patriarchal History 

ends, to 1490, I am compelled to confess that Alexandrian 
annals are hardly more than catalogues of names. 

20. The sixth book comprises the remainder of my task, and sixth Book, 
divides itself into two distinct portions. The first of these is 

the rise, progress, and decline of Boman Influence in Ethiopia. 
Here, besides Geddes, La Croze, and Ludolph, we have the ad- 
vantage of Bruce^s very clear Abyssinian history; and the 
original authorities are Alvarez, Tellez, and the account of the 
Patriarch JoSo Bermudez ; which latter is translated in Purchases 
Pilgrimage, and thence retranslated by La Croze. The other 
subject is the attempt made, in the seventeenth century, to en- 
graft Calvinism in the Oriental Church; and as this part of 
history is extremely important, and very Uttle known, I have 
preferred rather to overstep the bounds I proposed to myself 
than to treat it cursorily. My authorities, on the Boman side, 
are, principally, the PerpetuitS de la Foy, and the Defense de la 
Perpetuite; the Creance de PEglise Orientate of Simon; the 
De Consensu of Leo AUatius ; and the incidental notices of Le 
Quien and Renaudot. On the Oriental side, — ^the Councils of 
Constantinople, Jassy, and Bethlehem, as given in Labbe ; the 
History of the Bussian Church by MouraviefF; the Chronicon 
of Philip of Cyprus : to which I may add the '^Present State of 
the Greek Church*' of Bicaut, — a very fair writer. On the Cal- 
vinistic side, — Crusius's Turco-Gracia; Claude's Reply to the 
Perpetuite, and his Doctrine of the Catholic Church, which is a 
Beply to the Defense ; Aymon's Memoirs of the Greek Church ; 
Smith's Account of the Greek Church, both in EngUsh and 
Latin : to which may be added Dr. CovelPs account of the same 
Church. I also applied to the Public Library at Gteneva, for 
permission to copy all the hitherto unpubUshed letters of Cyril 


Lucar^s preserved in that Library ; and among these the reader 
will find a very important and hitherto unprinted one^ to the 
Archbishop De Dominis^ on the publication of his work De Re- 
publicd Ckristiand. To all these I 'must add^ the Life of 
Cyril Lucar from the pen of Dr. Beaven^ which appeared in 
several numbers of the British Magazine. 

21. I had intended to affix an excursus in defence of the 
very early chronology adopted in the first Section : want 
of space has obliged me to forbear. A vindication of it may, 
however, be found in the Bollandist Life of S. Peter under the 
29th of June. For the same reason, I have been obUged to 
omit the list of Egyptian martyrs in the Tenth Persecution, to 
which reference is made at its conclusion. 

22. Two remarks connected with orthography may not be 
out of place. The first is, that I have adopted the two dif- 
ferent spelUngs, Diflpcese and Diocese, to signify two different 
things. By the former I mean its old sense, the jurisdiction 
of an Exarch or Patriarch, as the Dioecese of Ephesus, the 
Dioecese of Alexandria : by the latter, that of a Bishop. Fleury, 
in like manner, speaks of U and la Diocese. The other is, that 
I have followed the Oriental method of spelling names, after 
the Mahometan invasion. Thus, Chail is written for Michael ; 
Chenouda for Sanutius : Abdel-Messiah for Christodulus. I 
have not done so, however, where the name is that of one well 
known as an author. Thus, I do not refer to Said Ebn 
Batric, but to Eutychius. 

28. I have now to express my obUgations for the valuable 
assistance I have received in this work. I desire gratefully 
to commemorate the kindness of His late Holiness, Hierotheus, 
to whom I had hoped to inscribe the History of his Church. 
My thanks are also especially due to the Bev. Edmund Winder, 
British Chaplain at Alexandria, for the indefatigable kindness 
with which he has collected and transmitted to me information ; 
to Alfred S.Walne, Esq., Her Britannic Majesty's Consul at Cairo, 
who was so obliging as to wait on the Patriarch with the queries 
I had transmitted to him; and to the Vicar of the Jacobite Pa- 
triarch at Alexandria, (whose name I regret not to know,) who 
furnished me with a great deal of valuable information as to 
the state of that Communion. 


But^ in a most especial manner^ my warmest thanks are 
due to the Rev. W. H. Mill, D.D., late Principal of Bishop's 
College, who, with the greatest kindness, gave me the advantage 
of his remarks on most of the sheets, as they passed through 
the press; and to whom I am indebted for several corrections, 
and for some important references to sources of information 
with which I was previously unacquainted. Of him I may well 
say, as Davies of Bentley, Quodcunque de istis Itumbratianibus 
feretur jfididum, illius certe rectissimo stant talo; etut qiuB olim 
edidii doctiores omnes legurU avidissime, ita qua apud se premit, 
expectant cupidissime. I have also to express my obhgations 
to my friend the Rev. B. Webb, M.A., who finally read through 
most of the sheets of this history before they were struck 
off; a work of which he only who has tried it can calculate 
the trouble or the use. 

I am indebted also to D. Jose Xavier Cerveira e Sousa, Bishop 
of Funchal and Arguim, for the kindness with which he 
furnished me with any book which was contained in his Epis- 
copal Library : and to Canon Antonio Pestana, Rector of the 
Seminary m Funchal, for the obUging manner in wHch he 
put the valuable library of that institution completely at my 
disposal. Portuguese Ubraries are especially valuable to a his- 
torian of the Alexandrian Church : for the works of Tellez 
and Alvarez are not to be procured in England. Lastly, I 
would thank M. Chastel, Professor of Ecclesiastical History, 
and Librarian of the pubUc library at Geneva, for the great 
pains which he took in procuring the transcription of Cyril 
Lucar's letters ; and M. Grivel, for the success with which 
he decyphered them. They are written in a mixture of bad 
Latin, bad Italian, and (occasionally) bad Greek : and the hand- 
writing is as bad as the language. 

I trust that, whatever judgment may be formed of this his- 
tory, while its deficiencies are noted, its difficulties will also be 
remembered. If the chronology shall sometimes appear unsatis- 
factory, it is no shame to fail where Renaudot, Le Quien, and 
SoUerius are often egregiously wrong. If I appear sometimes 
to compress a century into comparatively few pages, it is a 
century to which, as connected with Alexandria, Baronius and 
Fleury do not devote one. 


I have reserved, for my Introduction to the study of the 
Histoiy of the Oriental Church, some remarks which it seems 
right to make on the spirit in which such a book should be 
written. The historian should write, not as a member of the 
Roman, not as a member of the English, Church ; biit, as far 
as may be, with Oriental views, feelings^ and even, perhaps, 
prepossessions. MouraviefF's history is a perfect example in 
its kind. It was intended that this Introduction should have 
been prefixed to the present volumes. But it swelled to a size 
which precluded the possibility of that arrangement ; and has 
been also kept back for valuable information which I hope to 
receive from Constantinople and Damascus. 

Sackville College, 

East Grinsteb. 

8. MarVs Day, 1847. 







Section I. 
























The Foundation of the Church • 

The Foundation of the Church 
Origen .... 
The Octapla . 

The Decian Persecution and its results . 
The Milienarian Controversy 
Question of Re-Baptism 
Valerian persecutes the Church 
Rise of the Sabellian Heresy 
War, Famine, and Plague in Alexandria 
End of S. Dionysius 
S. Maximus and S. Theonas 
Persecution of Diocletian 
S. Antony and the Rise of Monasticism 
The Arian Heresy 

The Great and (Ecumenical Council of Nicsea 
Conversion of Ethiopia 
Athanasius folsely accused concerning Ischyras and Arsenius 
First Exile of S. Athanasius 
Egyptian Monasticism . 

Second Exile and Return of S. Athanasius . 
Third Exile of S. Athanasius 
Fourth and Fifth Exiles of S. Athanasius : his 

Death .... 
Pontificate of Peter 

Return and 




Sect. XXV. Pontificate of Timothy .... 208 

XXVI. Destruction of the Temple of Serapis: Theophilus at Con- 

stantinople . • . . .210 

XXVII. The Early Pontificate of S. Cyril . . 226 




Section I. Nestorius preaches and defends his Heresy . 233 

II. The (Ecumenical Council of Ephesus . . 266 

III. Reconciliation of Antioch with Alexandria . . 270 

IV. The Rise and Progress of Eutychianism . . 278 
V. The ''Robbers' Meeting'* at Ephesus . . . 290 

VI. The CEcumenical Council of Chalcedon . . 299 




CiacA A.D. 40, 


A.D. 428. 

IlpwTOV fiev t^ap iravra Bevrepa woiciaOai 7^9 aXtiOeias tov av<^pa(f>ea 
wpoariK€i* 69r6iTa ^6 to hor^fui TrJ9 KaOokov 'KKK\fiaia9 ffPTiaiwTWTOV oil 
fiAXitrra ^)ap€irai, 7roWaKt9 psp rats iirtpovKms t&v cvavria So^a^ovruv 
BoKifiaffOiv* oTa Be QeoOev to Kpateiv Xaxov^ av0i9 €i9 r^v oiKeiav 69rai/6X- 
Owp hvvafiip, Koi TTaaav 70,9 iKK\ijffia9 Kal ra ttK^Ohi 7rp09 ttjv olxeiap 
akfjOeiav iimnraaafievov, — Tpevofjuii Be ijh^ iirl rfju aiprffpffffiv iwv 
vparjffmrtvv, avveprfhv koi iXewv tov Qeov iviKa\€adfi€V09, 

SozoMEN. Prolog. 

$attiarct)ate of 9lle]rantina* 


It is tlie cooBtant and unYarying tradition of both the East' and ^^ chmcb 
the West, that S. Mark the Evangelist waa the founder of the ^'^ 
Gharch of Alexandria. The history, however, of hia labours 
in Libya, Fentapolis, and Egypt, is involved in considoable 
obscurity : a circumstance in which there is nothing to excite 
surprise, nor to weaken our behef in the truth of the general 
statement. If the rise of the Church in snch a city as Rome, 
which has always, since primitiTe times, been under Christian 
government, and always retained the same ecclesiastical language, 
is, in a great degree, unknown to us, and if the succession of its 'SSI^m^ 
Bishops is implicated in historical difficulties, much more may we ** '**"* 
expect the case to be so in one which, like Alexandria, has been 
for many ages subject to Mahometan tyranny, and where the 
change of language has introduced many errors into its historical 

That, however, S. Mark the Evangelist was not the same with fe«nd«d by 
Mark, the nephew of S. Barnabas, can hardly, notwithstanding 
the ingenious ai^nments of sereral learned men, be now doubted : 
and by considering the two as distinct personages, we ara 

I EmebloB, H. E. iL 16. 



enabled to reconcile conflicting statements, the authors of which 
appear equally worthy of credit. ^ 

Yet, though antiquity agrees in bestowmg on S. Mark the 
title of the Apostle of Egypt, we are not compelled to suppose 
that the faith had not previously been preached in that country, 
even did it appear that his mission were postponed as late 
as A.D. 50. There were dwellers ''in Egypt, and in the parts 
of Libya about Cyrene,'*^ ^to were present at Jerusalem at the 
outpouring of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, some 
yet othew of whom wcrp probably converted by S. Peter's sermon. The 
^died*ta Eunuch of Candace, Queen of the Ethiopians, that is, of the 
wm J Abyssinians, must, on his return to his own country, have passed 

through Egypt. Simon, who bore the Cross, was a native of 
Cyrene, and his sons, Alexander and Rufiis, were evidently 
persons well-known in the Church: and it is remarkable, and 
affords an argument in favour of the tradition we have been 
narrating, that S. Mark, who, from his connexion with Cyrene, 
would have been likely to be acquainted with the principal 
persons among its inhabitants, should alone of the EvangeUsts 
have particularized the family of Simon the Cyrenian. Again, 
among the prophets and teachers at Antioch whom the Holy 

' The question of the identity of 
S. Mark with the nephew of Barnabas, 
has been much and warmly disputed. 
Its decision wiU depend, in great part, 
on the year assigned for the Martyr- 
dom of the Evangelist. The learned 
dissertation of Sollerius, prefixed to 
the fifth volume of the Bollandine 
June, seems, notwithstanding the 
opposite sentiments of Henschenius, 
in the third volume of April, and of 
Stilting in the seventh volume of 
September, to have proved the correct- 
ness of the chronology of Eusebius, 
to which we shall presently have 
occasion to refer : and to have made 
it extremely probable that the Evan- 
gelist's mission dates from a.d. 37. 
If, therefore, S. Mark founded the 
Church of Alexandria about a.d. 40, 
whereas John Mark was with SS. 
Paul and Barnabas in A.p. 43 or 44 ; 

if the former were some years in Egypt, 
and the latter were in Cyprus at the 
death of S. Barnabas, — as his Acts 
testify, — in a.d. 51 ; if the former 
suffered in a.d. 62, and the latter 
were with S. Paul at Rome in a.d. 
62 or 63 (Philemon 24) nay, even 
as late as a.d. 65 were summoned 
by him (2 Timothy iv. 11) ; it 
follows evidently, that the two must 
be different persons. Stilting, how- 
ever, has shewn, in opposition to 
Cotelerius, that John Mark is iden« 
tical with Mark, the nephew of Bar- 
nabas. His other arguments appear 
to us unworthy of his great learning ; 
he confines himself principally to re- 
plying to Tillemont, an easier antago- 
nist than Sollerius, because he allows 
the Evangelist to have lived until 
A.D. 68. 
s Acts u. 10. 


Spibit commanded to lay hands on S. Barnabas and S. Paul/ 
we meet with the name of Lucius^ of Cyrene. He was probably 
one of those men of Cyrene^ whom the sacred historian mentions 
before, as the first after S. Peter^ to preach the Gospel to the 
Gentiles. It is hardly likely that so many natives of Egypt 
should, in their labours for the sake of Christ, have entirely 
neglected their own country. 

There is a celebrated passage in Philo Judseus, in which he 
mentions the Therapeutse, who inhabited the mountain and valley 
of Nitria, on the western side of the Nile. It has been much 
disputed who these men were : but we may be content to beUeve 
with all the early writers, among whom is Eusebius,^ that they 
were Christians. Thus it will appear that the Grospel had already 
been proclaimed in more than one province of Egypt, when S. 
Mark arrived at Alexandria. 

Yet this circumstance by no means forbids us to regard him 
as the founder of that Church, nor deprives the city of a title 
in which it gloried. The Evangelical See. There were many 
Christians both at Antioch and at Rome before S. Peter set foot 
in either place; yet antiquity always considered^ him as the 
founder of the Churches in each. Again, S. Paul had not only caaeinother 
himself dwelt at Ephesus, but had ordained S. Timothy first 
Bishop of that See ; and yet that Church acknowledges S. John 
the EvangeUst as its founder. So that the received beUef with 
respect to S. Mark does not invalidate another tradition, that 
S. Simon the Canaanite was the first to proclaim the Gk)spel in 

For some time after the day of Pentecost, the Evangelist^ 
is said to have preached in Jerusalem and the neighbouring 

' Actsziii. 1. 
' Acts zi. 19. 

3 H. £. ii. 17. Scaliger will have 
it that they were Essenes; Valesius re- 
futes this opinion, but denies that 
they were Christians. It seems now, 
however, to be generally agreed that 
this learned commentator was mis- 
taken. A summary of the arguments 
on both sides may be seen in Mangey's 
** Lettres pour et contr§ sur la fameuse 

question, si les Solitaires, appellls 
Therapeutes, etoient Chretiens."— 
Paris, 1712. 

* Le Quien, Oriens Christianus, 
ii. 332. 

^ In the absence of authentic testi* 
mony, we have given no account of 
S. Mark's previous life. According 
to the tradition of the Egyptian 
Church, which confounds the Evan- 
gelist with S. John Mark, he was a 
native of Pentapolis. His family was 



[book I. 

villages, partieularly in Bethany. S. Peter, however, about the 
year 87, appears to have sent him into Egypt; and it would 
seem that he entered Alexandria in, or towards, the year 40.^ 
S?sT aSSi. Here his first convert was one Annianus, or Hananias, a shoe- 
°""* maker by trade ; on whom the Evangelist wrought a miracle, 

and who, in consequence, received him into his house. Having 
preached the Gospel with great success, and having, in a pro- 
portionate degree, irritated the idolatrous inhabitants of the city, 
than whom no idolaters were more strongly attached to Pagan 
s. Mark superstition, S. Mark returned for a season to Jerusalem, first, if 
j?^Semi we may believe Coptic tradition, having ordained Annianus 

rich; and his father, Aristobultis, was 
brother to S. Bamabaa. An expedition 
of the J^ubiana having reduced him to 
poverty, he migrated, with hia house- 
hold, to Palestine, and settled in one 
of the villages adjacent to Jerusalem. 
S. Mark» then known only by the 
name of John, had early given proofs 
of a pious and reverent disposition ) 
and S. Peter, who by marriage had 
become a connexion of Aristobulus, 
had thus an opportunity of instructing 
his son in the Faith. Passing by the 
various miracles which the pious belief 
of the Alexandrian Church has, with- 
out any good grounds, attributed to 
S. Mark, such as his putting to flight 
a lion in the vicinity of Jordan, and 
throwing down, by his prayers, a tree 
that was the object of superstitious ve- 
neration near Ashdod, we may remark 
that, according to the same tradition, 
S. Mark was one of the Seventy. It 
is also asserted that he was one of the 
servants at the marriage of Cana ; that 
he was the man whom the Apostles 
met, carrying a pitcher of water, be- 
fore the Last Supper; that in his 
house it was that our Lokd celebrated 
that Passover ; in his house, also, that 
the Apostles were assembled secretly 
for fear of the Jews, when our Saviour 
appeared to ^em. — Such, as we said, 
is Egyptian tradition ; among other 

writers there is the greatest discre- 
pancy as to his native country and the 
time of his conversion. Some will 
have it that it was after the Ascension 
of our Lord ; (S. Augustin. de Con- 
sensu Evang. 1 ;) others, that he had 
been converted by Christ Himself, 
was one of those who were oiTended 
at His declaration concerning His 
Flesh and Blood, and was afterwards 
recalled by S. Peter. (S. Epiphan. 
Haer. 51. ^ 428.) ComeL & Lapide. 
Comm. in Act. 219.) 

1 We have in this account followed 
SoUerius, whose hypothesis seems the 
only method of reconciling Eusebius 
with himself. In his Chronicon he 
say8,under the second year of Claudius, 
(i. e. A.D. 42 or 43,) " Mark the Evan- 
gelist preaches Christ in Egypt and 
at Alexandria." This unplies that he 
had been there sometime previously. 
But, by a comparison of the 15th and 
16th chapters of the second book of 
the Ecdesiastial History of Eusebius, 
that writer would seem to place the 
mission (tf S. Mark after the writing 
of his gospeL The Chronicon Alexan- 
drinum, Anastasius, and George Syn- 
cellus, are agreed in placing it in a.d. 
40. A double mission, the one from 
Jerusalem, the other .from Rome, 
expUdns the apparent contradiction. 


Bishop of the new Church, with three Priests and seven Deaeons 
as his assistants. This seems to have taken place in the 
year 44. 

From Palestine, S. Mark accompanied S* Peter to Borne, to Romei 
It was here that, mider the direction of the Apostle, he wrote 
his Gospel, whether, as some wiU have it, in Latin, or, as it 
seems more probable, in Greek; for the Egyptian tradition 
which assigns to it a Coptic original is not for a moment to be 
received. It matters little to Alexandrian History whether he 
founded the Church at Aquilea, or whether that tradition is to 
be rejected as &bulous. We find him mentioned in the first 
Epistle of S. Peter, under the affectionate title of '' Marcus my 
son'' : but this is the only certain information that we possess 
with respect to the Evangdist, while residing in Bome.^ 

It was, apparently, towards the year 49, that S. Markratonito 
returned to Egypt ; and there, till the time of his decease, he 
laboured with great success. And during this period, the first 
church in Alexandria is said to have been built, at a place called 
Boucalia, near to the sea shore, and thence called Boucalis, or 
Baucalis. The name Boucalia arose, if we may believe Strabo, 
from the fact, that in former times the spot had been appropri- 
ated for the pasturage of cattle. 

The Egyptians, indignant^ at the progress made by the 


1 Le Quien, iL 340. Renaudot, 
Pat AL 3. 

s The date of S. Mark's Martyrdom 
is a question of almost insuperable 
diflSicnlty. Eutychios makes it to 
have taken place in a.d. 54; the 
Chronicon Orientalef in a.d. 67 ; the 
Acts of the ETangelisty in a.d. 68. 
Ensebins, on the contrarji (H. E. 
ii 24,) says expressly Vipta^s S^ tfy- 
}iow SyovTos rris fiatriXttas yosirp&Tos 
furh MpKOif rhy 'Air6ffrokoif Hat 'Eva7- 
ytKurriiP r^s iv 'AXitayB^c(f wapouUaa 
*Ajnfuafhs r^y kenovpylay Zu^4x^«u, 
S. Jerome (de Scriptoribns Ecdesias- 
ticis) confirms this :-^Mortaus est 
antem octavo Neronis anno. To 
which may be added the common 
Martyrologies. Now the eighth year 

of Nero began October 13, a.d. 61 ; 
and, as it is agreed on aU hands that 
S. Mark suffered on the 25th of April, 
it must have been in a.d. 62. To 
this a difficulty, arising from ancient 
traditions, is opposed. The Evange- 
list is said, in the most ancient Mar- 
tyrologies, to have departed to his re- 
ward on the 29th or 30th of the month 
Pharmuthi, that is, the 24th or 25th 
of April, and on Easter Day. 
Now it is certain that from the year 
45 to the end of the first century, 
Easter Day never fell on the 24th or 
25th of April. It might be sufficient to 
reply that the uncertainty of the time 
of the celebration of Easter, even at 
a period much subsequent to this, for- 
bids us to draw any very definite con* 



and ittlfen 
April 25, 
A.D. 6a. 

Gospel^ resolved to be avenged on its first preacher. A feast 
in honour of Serapis^ held annually on the twenty-fifth of April, 
was approaching. Advantage wias taken of the circumstance to 
excite and organize a riot, on the preceding day, Saturday, 
April 24 : the rather, that the EvangeUst had denounced the 
approaching festivity as idolatrous and impious. Seizing 
S. Mark, and tying a rope round his neck, they drew him 
through the principal streets of the city, till the blood gushed 
firom his sides : and, at evening, they threw him into prison, 
while consulting with respect to his f&te. On the same night 
the sufferer was cheered by the appearance of an Angel, who 

elusion from the assertion of the 
Martyrologiesy even if we edmit it to 
be true. Yet that the ETangelist 
suffered on a Sunday seems, from this 
tradition, extremely probable ; and it is 
well nigh certain that it was on a great 
feast of Serapis, for on this aU histo- 
rians are agreed. Now there was a 
Feast of Serapis on the 25th of April; 
and since the Dominical letter of 
A.D. 62 is C, the 25th of April in 
that year fell on a Sunday. Nor is it 
difficult to explain how it afterwards 
came to be asserted that S. Mark 
suffered on Easter Day. The genuine 
Acts may haye mentioned the feet, 
that he was slain on April 25, which 
was Sunday, and a great Festival; 
meaning thereby, a great Festival of 
Serapis. On which some ignorant 
transcriber, supposing a great Chris- 
tian Festival to be meant, Inserted the 
word PaschaK before Domtntcn. Or 
again, this Sunday tiiay have been 
called the Paschal Sunday, because it 
fell within the Paschal time*; t. «., the 
period between Easter and Whitsun- 
day. Or lastiy, the Paschal Festivity 
may mean any Sunday, as being the 
Feast of the Lord's Resurrection. 
And aU the MSS. Acts consulted by 
SoUerius, say simply, Beatisaimam/eS' 
tivitatem nottram Paschalem, id est, 
Dominicum diem, Bonjour has col- 

lected other examples, where S|unday 
is spoken of in a similar manner. (Ap- 
pend, ad Diss, de nomine Pat. Joseph, 
p. 45). 

So fer the date, Sonday, April 25, 
A.D. 62, seems satisfectory. Another 
difficulty, however, meets us« It is 
expressly affirmed by the Acts, that S. 
Mark suffered on the Sunday, but was 
not slain till the next day. In the 
year 62, therefore, he must have 
finished his course on Monday, April 
26 ; but this is contrary to all testi- 
mony. We answer that, though the 
Acts assert that the confession of the 
EvangeUst lasted two days, they also 
introduce the Pagans saying, Quod 
Serapis, in sua hodis festivitate, 
hunc virum voluit invisere. In 
this case, the Evangelist must have 
been arrested on Saturday, April 24. 
If, however, it should be insisted that 
the Evangelist was arrested on Sunday, 
and slain on the Feast of Serapis, 
there is no occasion, with Tillemont 
and Bonjour, to postpone his Mar- 
tyrdom to 68 : — ^it would be enough, 
with Pontac, to place his passion on 
Sunday, April 24, being the 3rd Sun- 
day after Easter, and his death on 
Monday, April 25, a.d. 63. We 
prefer, however, to rest on the autho- 
rity of Eusebius, and to attribute a 
slight inaccuracy to the Acts. 


comforted him with the assiirance that his name was in the 
Book of Life; and shortly afterwards by a Vision of the 
Savioue Himself^ Who, addressing him by the title of Mark 
the EvangeUst, bade peace be with him. To Whom S. Mark 
rephed, ''I yield Thee thanks, O Saviour, that Thou hast 
coimted me worthy to suffer for Thy Name.'' On the next day, 
the Pagans drew the Evangelist around the city, as before, 
imtil with the words, " Into Thy Hands I commend my spirit,*' 
he went to his rest. It was by the side of the Martyr's tomb 
in the church of Baucalis, that the election of the Patriarchs 
took place in after times. 

We must not pass over in silence the celebrated account ^?*rfy.«j»-, 

•^ , , , Btitation of 

which Eutychius, Patriarch of Alexandria in the tenth century, ***!j^**" 
has given, with respect to the custom introduced by S. Mark church, 
concerning the election of Bishops in that See. Though this 
writer's statement has been repeatedly noticed and confuted, 
it still remains a staple argument with Presbyterians, and a 
History of the Church of Alexandria were incomplete without 
an examination into its truth. 

The words of Eutychius are as follows : '* S. Mark along »■ ^Sf*^ 
with Ananias, ordained twelve Presbyters, to remain with the «*^"^ 
Patriarch i so that when the Chair should become vacant, they 
might elect one out of the twelve, on whose head the other 
eleven should lay their hands, give him benediction, and con- 
stitute him Patriarch ; and should after this choose some other 
man, to supply the place of the promoted Presbyter, in such 
sort that the Presbytery should always consist of twelve. This 
custom continued at Alexandria tiQ the time of the Patriarch 
Alexander, one of the Three hundred and eighteen"; (the 
writer, of course, means the Fathers of Nicsea;) "who forbade the 
Presbyters in future to ordain their Patriarch, but decreed that 
on a vacancy of the See the neighbouring Bishops should con- 
vene for the purpose of fiUing it with a proper Patriarch, 
whether elected from those twelve Presbyters, or from any 
others." Eutychius adds, that during the time of the first ten 
Patriarchs there were no Bishops in Egypt; Demetrius, the 
eleventh, having been the first to consecrate them. 

If, then, we are to take this writer's words in their literal sense, 
we must beUeve that the Second See in the Cathohc Church was for 


the space of one hundred and fifty yean goremed by Arch- 
Priests ; that these men, during that period, refrained from the 
ordination of other Bishops, thongh presuming to lay hands on 
Priests and the inferior orders of the hierarchy : that the eleventh 
Patriarch asserted his claim to consecrate Bishops ; and that 
six of his successors, for nearly a hundred years, persevered 
in this practice without a remonstrance from, and enjoying 
communion with, every other branch of the Church. 

So monstrous a story at first leads us to regard its author 
as grossly misinformed, or a pure &bricator. Yet the authority 
of S. Jerome forbids us to do this. That Father, in an epistle 
to Evagrius,^ while dwelling on the dignity of the Priesthood, 
and s. thus cxprcsscs lumself : ''At Alexandria, firom the time of S. 
^^^^* Mark the Evangelist to that of the Bishops Heraclas and 
Dionysius,*' (that is, till the middle of the third century,) ''it 
was the custom of the Presbyters to nominate one, elected horn 
among themselves, to the higher dignity of the Bishoprick; 
just as the army makes an emperor, or the Deacons nominate 
as Archdeacon any man whom they know to be of active habits 
in their own body/' 

The above quoted passage from Eutychius was first pubUshed 

by the learned Selden, with a very prolix commentary, as a prop 

to the falling cause of Presbyterianism. It was refuted at the 

time by Abraham Echellensis, and afterwards by Benaudot and 

Le Quien. Two different explanations have been given, either of 

which is perfectly satisfactory. 

not Presby. In the fir^t place, it may well be asserted that the words of 

Eutychius refer to the election, not to the consecration, of the 

Bishop. It was the custom in the early Church, that not only 

Presbyters, but even laics, laid their hands on the head of the 

party so chosen; and this was the case more especially in the 

Coptic Church, as writers, both Catholic and Jacobite, allow. 

And Echellensis has dearly proved, that, in many instances at 

least, a triple imposition of hands took place; of the people 

voting, of the Presbyters electing, of the Bishops consecrating. 

PriTUegesof -^^ ^^'^ ^^^'^ time, the Presbyters of Alexandria had certain 

SSu^ftSl privileges which the Presbyters of other Churches did not 

5^^2^ enjoy; and these two facts, coming together to the knowledge 

» 0pp. i. i082. [Ed. VaU.] 



of an ignorant writer like Eutychiusj may have occasioned the 
fable to which the unhappy consequences of the Western 
Reformation have given audi nndxis celebiity. S. Jerome's tes- 
timony is decided against those who bring him farwaid as a 
witness; for^ at the vary time he is stretching to their very 
utmost the privileges of the Priesthood^ he adcs, ''What is 
there which a Bishop may do^ bxcbpt obbination, that a 
Presbyter may not do V*^ Again, as it has been well remarked, 
how could the Council of Alexandrkt, a.]>. 839, have decided 
against the orders conferred by one Coluthus, himself a Pres- 
byter, when, within the memory of living men, the Patriardi 
had received no other ordination 7 Or is it likely that among 
the various charges brought in succeeding ages against the 
Church of Egypt, this of Presbyterian ordination should never 
have been one ? 

It may, however, be granted, that the Patriarch was really and whence 
ordained by these twelve Presbyters,^ It is, then, certain that auuig. 
they were an Episcopal College, retaining the name, which in 

1 Yet eren this passage proTes that hint of a recent addition to the Ej^ 

S. Jerome is stretching the point to 
its.Ycry utmost. For in his dialogae 
against the Lnciferians, (Opp. U. 
181,) he also reserves the power of 
confirming to the Bishop alone. 

s This hypothesis, howeyer, is 
stoutly denied hy Pearson, Abraham 
Echellensis, and Sollerius, and they 
affirm that Diocesan Bishops existed in 
the Alexandrian Patriarchate from the 
▼ery first. In confirmation of this view, 
they quote -the Melchite Martyrology, 
the Acts of S. MarkbySeverus, Simeon 
Metaphrastes, and, above all, the 
letter of Hadrian to Servianns, quoted 
in the life of Satominus by Vopiscns, 
where he distinctly mentions some, 
qui se Cbribti MpUeopoB dicuni. 
They also observe that HeracUs, had 
he increased the number of Bishops, 
would in aU probability have been 
commended for it by his encomiast 
Eusebius ; and that in the time of S. 
Alexander there were a hundred 
Bishops in Egypt, while we find no 

copal body. Atthesametime, it must 
be confessed that none of these argu- 
ments can in any respect be considered 
decisive, except that adduced from 
the letter of Hadrian i and he might 
easily have been mistalcen on this 
point, as he is in the same letter on 
others, regarding the Christians. 

It is easy to reconcile the discre- 
pancy between the two narrations of 
the early constitution of the Alexan- 
drian Church, by imagining that at 
first, as we said, it consisted of seven 
Deacons and three Priests } but that 
the Evangelist, on his second visit 
to Alexandria, found the number 
of the Faithful so much increased, 
as to call for the establishment of a 
Presbyteral (or Episcopal) College. 
This whole subject is most sbly treated 
by SoUerius, Parergon I., Hist. 
Chron. Pat. Alex. pp. 9*, 10*, 11* of 
the fifth volume of the BoUandine 
June; and by Le Quien, Oriens 
Christianusi ii. 342. 


the Frimitiye Churcli was used synonymously with Bishops. 
That the case is so in the Acts is well known. S. Faul^ for 
example^ having called the Presbyters of the Church of Ephesus 
to Miletus^ warned them to take heed unto all the flock^ over 
the which the Holy Ghost had made them Bishops. And 
that there was such an Episcopal College at Alexandria appears 
likely from two considerations. The one^ that the account of 
Eutychius as to the absence of any Bishops in Egypt till the 
third century thus receives some confirmation^ since we may 
well suppose that this College governed the country jointly, 
and that till the time of Demetrius it was not divided, to use 
the word in the modem sense, into Dioceses ; the other, that 
we may thus account for the extraordinary privileges retained by 
the College when it became really Presbyteral, more especially 
that of provincial letters being addressed in its name jointly 
with the Patriarch's. 

Let the case, however, be as it may, Eutychius's authority is 
Uttle worth, since, in asserting that till the Nicene Council the 
Patriarchs were invariably elected from the order of Presbyters, 
he asserts that which is contrary to fact, Demetrius for example 
having been a layman tiU called to the Chair of S. Mark. And 
among the many frivolous objections raised against S. Athanasius, 
his immediate elevation from the Diaconate to the Patriarchate 
does not appear. 

Peace en- It pleased God, that the Church which was afterwards to be 

Joyed by the ^ ' • /» 

eariy Alex- exposcd to such fierce persecution from the Pagan power, and 
Church. to struggle for its very existence with heresy under two forms^ 
should, in its infancy, be in great measure protected from the 
storms which fell upon its sister Churches. Time was thus given 
for its establishment and consolidation ; the True Paith took 
deep root in the hearts of the people of Alexandria, and, in due 
season, brought forth fruit to perfection. During the first two 
centuries, Egypt enjoyed unusual quiet ; and Uttle is known of 
its ecclesiastical history beyond the names of its Patriarchs. 



On the decease of S. Mark. S. Annianus^ succeeded to the syaseMkin 

of 8. Annla- 

govemment of the Church. He was a man, says Eusebius,^n"»f*|f- 
beloved of Oon, and admirable in all things. In his time the 
number of the Faithful was increaised exceedingly .^ His memory 
was held in great veneration by the Egyptians, and a church 
under his invocation long existed'* at Alexandria. He governed 
the See^ twenty-two years : and had for his successor AbiUus,^ s. Abuiu. 
or M elianus, who is said to have been the first of the three a.d.*84. " 
Presbyters whom S. Mark, at his first visit to Alexandria, had 
ordained. The remark of the Chronicon Orientale, " the Church 
during his time was in peace,^^ renders it probable that the case 
had been otherwise during the Episcopate of Annianus. And 
it is not unlikely that, in the massacre of the Alexandrian Jews 
which followed the siege of Jerusalem, some of the Christians 
might have suflered. On this subject, however, we have no 
certain information. The persecution of Domitian does not 
appear to have extended to Egypt. Abilius governed the Church 
for nearly fourteen yeaVs : and was succeeded by Cerdo,^ one of s. cwdo 
the Presbyters whom S, Mark had ordained. He presided over ^;£^'* 
his diocese for about nine^ years ; and there is an obscure tra- 

1 He is also called Anianus ; and in 
the Latin Acts of S. Mark, published 
by Wolfgang Laadns, Anixanus. Reu- 
terdahl wiU have the name spelt 
Ammianos ; Entychios Hananias. 

s Euseb. H. £. u. 24. 

3 Seyerns, ap, Renand. 2. 

4 S. Epiphanius, Hsr. 69. 

s So Eusebios, (iii. 12,) S. Nice- 
phonis, Eutychlns, Sevenis, Makri- 
zins ; though they do not agree as to 
the year of his decease, dating the 
commencement of his episcopate dif- 

Easebins, both in fall History and 
and in his Chronicle, with the .other 
Greek and Latin authors, calls him 
Abilius; the Coptic writers name 
him Miloi, the Arabs, Melianus. In 
Eatychins, by a manifest error, he is 
termed Philetius. The author of the 
Apostolic Constitutions asserts that 

he was consecrated by S. Luke ; (yiL 
48,) which is contrary to Eastern 

7 The Chronicon Orientale asserts 
that the See was vacant for three years 
after the decease of Abilius, and TiUe- 
mont follows its authority. But Sol- 
lerius (p. 15*) amply disproves this 
assertion, and indeed the reason as- 
signed in the Chronicon, ** because 
at that time the destruction of Jeru- 
salem happened," destroys whatever 
authority the statement might otiier- 
wise possess. 

^ There is a discrepancy between 
the Chronicle and History of Euse- 
bius ; the former gives eleven years to 
Cerdo, the latter merely asserts that 
he died about the twelfth year of 
Hadrian. (U. E. iv. l.) We follow 



[book I. 

A.D. lis. 

j^^ ditionthat he suffered Martjrrdom under Trajan. Primnsj^ who 
Aj).io7. is also caUedEphraun^ next ascended the Erangelieal Throne. He 
was a layman, and was advanced for his angeUcal purity of life.^ 
His Episcopate was in all probability a season of trouble. The 
Jews' of Egypt and Gyrene, as if possessed by an evil spirit, fell 
on the Pagans among whom they dwelt, massacred them without 
mercy, carried every thing before them, and compelled their ene- 
mies to retire within the walls of Alexandria, where they revenged 
themselves by enslaving or murdering such of the Jews as were 
dwelling in that city. Nor was it till Marcius Turbo, into whose 
hands Trajan committed the conduct of the war, had defeated 
the rebels in several battles, and had slaughtered many thou- 
sands of them, that peace was restored to the country. Primus, 
after an Episcopate of twelve years, was succeeded by Justus ^ 
a man who was good and wise,^ and beloved^ of God. He is 
said to have been baptised by the Evangelist 'p and, doubtless, 
the Egyptian Church would deUght in honouring such, more 
especially at a time when few who had personally known S. 
s^omeniiu, Mark could be yet surviving. To Justus succeeded Eumenius ;8 
A.D. ISO. mid it is remarkable that history is stiQ silent as to the suffer- 
ings, which there almost certainly must have been, of the 
Alexandrian Church,^ during the time that Hadrian was in 
Egypt, where he restored the pillar of Pompey, and attended 
the apotheosis of his favourite Antinous. And in the great 
and last insurrection of the Jews, led on by the impostor 
Baroochebas, the Egyptian Christians'^ suffered severely from 

S. Jastu, 
P»tr. VI., 
A.D. 110. 

1 He is called Primus by Ensebius 
(H. £. W. 4) and other Greek and 
Latin writers. See Dodwell's Sup- 
plement to Pearson's [Dissertation, p. 
58. But by Eastern writers be is 
termed Abrimius or Aprimius; and 
Papebrochius supposes his real name 
to have been Ephrem. (Conf. SoUer. 
p. 16*). 

* Sererus, ap. Renaudot, p. 16. 

' Eusebius, H.E. iv. 2. This rebel- 
lion is also mentioned by Orosius, 
Dion, and Spartianus. 

4 Eusebius, H. E. iv. 4. He is 
called Justinus by Nicepborus. 

^ Severus, ap. Renaudot, p. 16. 

^ ChroniconOrientale. Sollerius,?*. 
^ Such is the tradition of the Ethi- 
opic Church. Renaudot, p. 17. 

8 Eusebius (H. £. iv. 11) calls him 
Eumenes; but in his Chronicle, 

9 The only author who mentions 
that Alexandria suffered in the per- 
secution of Hadrian, is Maciixius ; 
and he refers it to the Episcopate of 
Primus, when, indeed, that persecution 
might have commenced in Egypt; 
though it did not attain its utmost 
fury till after the succession of Justus. 

^ Eusebius, H. E. vr. 8. SoUerius, 



the fiiry of the rebels, who would have had them join in their 
revolt. At the same time Alexandria was infected by the 
feinatic teaching of Basileides^ and Carpocrates, both natives of 
that city. To enter into an eicposition of the Gnostic heresy 
would lead us too tax from our immediate Subject : inasmuch as 
it does not appear that the Alexandrian Church was peculiarly 
interested in its rise, or opposed to its progress. 

Marcian^ was the successor of Eumenius, of whom nothing ^*^^' 
whatever is known : and Marcian was followed by Geladion.' ^.d. us. 
Of this Bishop nothing is related except the love that his flock g o^^^djon 
bore to him ; and that he was succeeded by Agrippinus.* He, 5!d/im7 
in his turn, left the Patriarchal Throne to Julian.^ 

A, barren list of names is all that history has left us with 5^,^^" 
respect to these early Bishops of Alexandiia; all of whom, ^••^•"- *•''• 
however, with the exception perhaps of Primus, are reckoned g j,jjj„^ 
among the Saints, tfTith the successor of Julian we leave J^S-,^^'; 
uncertain traditions, and uninteresting catalogues, and enter on 
the real History of the Church of Alexandria. 

1 Ensebins, H. E. It. 7. On the dif- 
ferent tenets of the stricter foUowersof 
BasileideSy and the Carpocratians, the 
reader cannot do better than consult 

' Ensebiosy H. E. iv. 6, terms him 
Mark ; and it is probable, as Sollerius 
has observed, that this was his real 
name, but was altered bythe Egyptians 
oat of reverence tothe Evangelist ; just 
as in the Roman Church no Pope has 
ever been named Peter. No Alex* 
andrian Patriarch bore the name of 
Mark tiU the b^;inning of the ninth 

3 So he is called by Eusebius, Nice- 
phoms, Geoi^ SynceUus; Cdasdia- 
nus jatheriopljc Index ; Claudian \^ 
Sevems, Eutychius, the Chronicon 
Orientale, Efanacinus, Makrizi. 
Abu'lberkat also names him Beladion ; 
our JacoMte Catalogue \ \\ ».Mls^ 

4 Eusebius, H. £. iv. 19. Abu'l* 
berkat calls him Agrippius or Agrippa. 
The chronology of his Patriarchate, 
which is involved in some obscurity by 
an apparent self«oontradiction on the 
part of Eusebiua, is ably expounded 
by Sollerius. 

^ Eusebius, H. E. v. 9. Severua 
has a Btrange observation, eonnected 
with this Prelate ; after his time, says 
he, no Bishop remained at Alexandria. 
The most intelligible explanation of 
this assertion, which is also confirmed 
by the authority of the Chronicon 
Orientale,ts that the increasing severity 
of persecution rendered the succeeding 
Bi^ops, at one time or other, fiigi* 
tives from their See ; which till then 
they had not been compelled to 
leave. In the chronology we have 
followed Sollerius, though we have not 
considered it necessary to swell our 
pages with an exposition of his argu* 



DemetriuB. Whilb the Patriarch Julian — so runs the Egyptian legend^ — 
A.D.'i89. ' was on his death bed^ he was informed by an Angela that 
the msxi who should^ on the succeeding day^ bring him a 
present of grapes^ ^ was designed as his successor. On the 
morrow^ a countryman^ who could neither read nor write^ and 
who was married^ made his appearance in the predicted man- 
how elected, j^er^ and Julian acknowledged him as the future Patriarch. 
Demetrius was so unwilling to receive the proffered dignity, 
that he was ordained by main force ; and, from the time of his 
consecration, he became another man. He immediately applied 
himself with success to the study of the Scriptures, and became 
one of the most learned prelates of his time. His being a 
married man rendered his flock, if we may trust Severus, 
unwilling at first to receive him as Patriarch, as it happened 
that, from S. Mark downward, none such had been promoted to 
the See. This indisposition, however, was shortly removed, 
probably by the exemplary character of the new Prelate ; for the 
miracle which, according to Coptic tradition, established his 
continence, is unworthy of relation, and far more so of belief. 

Demetrius had presided over his Church fourteen years, when 

the terrible persecution of Severus, reckoned as the sixth, broke 

oonTenton ovcr the Church. ^PhiUp was at the time Prefect of Egypt : 

of puup. ^^^ ^£ ^^ ^^^^ honourable posts which it was in the power of 

1 This tale is related or referred to He displayed, this daj, the power of 
bj Sevems, the Chronicon Orientale, Yirginity by the Grace of Christ : 

and Elmacinos. Renaudot, pp. 20, He coyered fire in a basket, and the 
21. The Copts, on the twelfth of vest of his wife, 

Bermaha, (=March 8) commemo- says the Ethiopic poet. See Ludolf, 

rate the miracle by which Demetnus Comm. ad Hist. Ethiop. p. 448. 
proved his continence. 

0«I^C '• y^^T • n\V4^ : (DA'fl'KfXl* = nwtij. : 

3 Baron. Ann. 204, vi. 


the emperors to bestow^ and known above others by the name 
of the Augustal Prefecture. Phihp, however, with his wife 
Claudia, and daughter Eugenia, embraced the Christian Faith ; 
and though he made no secret of his conversion, he was per- 
mitted to retain his dignity for some time after it had taken 
place. Severus having, at length, become acquainted with the 
fact, wrote to the Prefect, upbraiding him with the ill return he 
had made for the kindness shewn him ; he had been honoured, 
he said, rather as a king than as a prefect, and while he retained 
the faith of his forefathers, he was worthy of the dignity. He 
must at once either renounce the superstition to which he had 
Attached himself, or submit to be deprived of the office which 
he had so. long held. On receiving these commands, Phihp 
feigned illness, and availed himself of the relaxation thus ob- 
tained from public business, to convert all his possessions into 
money, which he bestowed on the poor. Having done this, he 
returned a firm answer to Severus, who superseded him in his 
government by Terentius Lsetus. The new Prefect had express 
orders to destroy PhiUp. This, however, was not so easy to be 
accomplished : the populace still loved and respected the deposed 
governor, and it was necessary to have recourse to stratagem. A 
hired band of ruffians were easily engaged : having dispatched ^Sjf"'*'^" 
Phihp in his own house, they were, to save appearances, thrown 
into prison ; from whence they were speedily hberated. Severus 
himself paid a visit to Egypt; and, as a popular measure, 
permitted that in future a senator should be made prefect. 
Hitherto that honour had, by the institution of Augustus, been 
conferred on men of equestrian rank only. 

The persecution, on the approach of Severus to Alexandria, Penecotion 
began to be so severe in Egypt, that many beUeved the days of 
Antichrist to be at hand. Alexandria itself was the scene of 
many martyrdoms,^ because the Christians, arrested in the 
various parts of the province^ were sent thither for trial and 
execution. The most celebrated among its victims was S. 
Leonidas,^ the father of the more famous Origen. He had 

> Eosebiui, H. £. vL I. S. Jerome, preserved in the Vatican. 

' He has been sometimes called a Bnt that he was so is, to say the leasti 
Bishop ; by Snidas, for example, and very uncertain, 
by two MSS. copies of the catalogue of 




Birth of 
Origen } 

tion at 

and in tlie 
School J 

history of 
that school. 



carefally educated his son, till the seventeenth year of his age, 
not only in the Scriptures, but also in the usual studies of the 
time. Every day, before entering on the latter, it was his habit 
to require the repetition of some portion of the former, which 
he then explained and enforced. The quick mind of Origen 
was not satisfied with the literal signification; he eagerly 
inquired after the mystical meaning, which he considered to 
possess the deeper interest, and more richly to repay the study. 
S. Leonidas considered it right to check these demonstrations of 
that fertihty of genius for which Origen became afterwards so 
remarkable ; he advised him to confine his inquiries to subjects 
more suitable to his age, and not to enter on topics which 
were only fitting for the ripe theologian. Yet, in private, he 
would bless God for the talents which He had bestowed on his 
son ; and often, while the latter slept, he would steal to his bed- 
side, and kiss that breast which he looked on as a special shrine 
of the Holy Ghost. Besides Origen, Leonidas had six other 
sons : the name of their mother is unknown. 

The Catechetical School of Alexandria possessed at this time 
a high reputation in the Church. It had its origin^ in the first 
century ; but its earliest master with whom we are acquainted 
was Athenagoras. — ^He had been an Athenian philosopher, and 
on his conversion, wrote an apology for Christianity, unknown 
to EufTebius and S. Jerome, but cited by S. Epiphanius. We 
have also another work of his, in defence of the probabihty of a 
Resurrection. To Athenagoras succeeded the more celebrated 
Father of the Church, Fantsenus. An Hebrew by nation, a 
Sicihan bybirth,^ he was in philosophy an Eclectic ;3 and drew 
his principal dogmas from the Stoic and Fythagorean sects. 

^*'A Marco Eyangelistft semper 
Ecclesiastici ftiere doctores,'' is S. 
Jerome's statement, when writing of 
S. Pantaenus, in his Catalogne. 

* Thus Le Moine (Var. Sac ii 207) 
reconciles the two accounts of Clemens, 
— in one of which he calls Pantsenus 
a Sicilian bee, — in the other he seems 
to mention him as a Jew. Valesius, 
in his note on Eusebins ▼. 1 1 (vol. ii. 
p. 64, n. 6, ed. Heinichen) and Dupin, 

(Biblioth. Ecdes. i. 232, not. a, Ed. 2) 
deny that he was a Jew. 

s Eusebius, (H. E. y. 10) asserts 
him to have been a Stoic ; — PhiUppus 
Sidetes, a Pythagorean. The latter 
author makes Pantaenus, by mistake, 
to have been the pupil of Clemens ; 
perhaps by a distortion of the fact 
that he did, in a certain sense, succeed 
him on his return from India. 


While he presided over the Alexandrian school, the Indians sent 
to Demetrius, requesting him to dispatch some teacher of the 
Faith to that country, who should be recommended no less 
by his learning than by his character. Pant«nus accepted 
the office with joy, — and left the government of his school in 
the hands of his celebrated disciple, Clemens. ciemens 

In the Catechetical School, therefore, Origen^ was placed ; 
and under Clemens, (whom we shall have occasion to mention 
more at length hereafter,) made rapid progress not only in 
sacred, but also in profane hterature. Here,^ in all probabUity, 
he formed that friendship with Alexander, afterwards Bishop of 
Jerusalem, which was at a later period so important to his 
welfare. He also attended the lectures of Ainmonius,^ from 
whom he drank deeply of that Platonic philosophy which 
more or less tinged his writings. 

On the breaking out of the persecution, such was Origen's 
desire for martyrdom, that he was scarcely to be prevented, 
by the tears and entreaties of his mother, from denouncing 
himself at the tribunal of the governor. And on the apprehen- 
sion of his father, he was restrained by httle short of main 
force. Happy had it been for him had he thus early and 
gloriously ended his life! happy, had he not been spared to 
leave a doctrine that divided the Church for centuries, and a 
reputation of so doubtful a nature that the salvation of Origen 
was one of the most famous questions of antiquity ! He at 
length contented himself with encouraging S. Leonidas to en- 
dure to the end, neither regarding his own sufferings, nor the 
destitute condition of his wife, and her seven sons, of whom q^^^,, 
Origen, young as he was, was the eldest. S. Leonidas* was poverty, 
beheaded, and his family reduced to the deepest poverty, the 
possessions of the Martyr being confiscated. Origen himself 
was, for some time, an inmate in the house of a rich Christian 
lady ; but as she also entertained Paul of Antioch, a determined 

I Euseb. H. E. yi. 6. Suidas, Eusebius, and Nicephorus 

3 This seems to follow from Easeb. put the fact beyond donbt. Huet., 

H. E. yi. 14, as De la Rue well Origeniana, i. 6. 

observes. ^ He is commemorated by the 

s This is denied by Baronios, s. a. Roman Martyrolog^ on the 22nd of 

234, but the testimonies of Porphyry, April. 

c 2 


heretic^ whom she had adopted as her hdr^ he was at length 
oompeUed, through hatred of the fiJse doctrine with which 
he was thna continuaUy broo^t in ocmtact, to seek an asylum 
ebewhere. He then undertook to teach the science of grammar^ 
and in this manner obtained a precarious subsistence. 

Pantaenna^ on his return firom India, — ^where he had found 
some traces of the kbours of S. Bartholomew, and had dis- 
covered, it is said, a Gospel of S. Matthew, written in 
Hebrew,^ — reassumed his place in the Alexandrian School, 
assisted by Clemens : Origen heard and reyerenced both.^ On 
the death of his master, Clemens succeeded to the entire manage* 
ment of the school. But the fiiry of the persecution increasing, he 
was tempted to relinquish his charge, and to retire into Cappa- 
doda. On this, Origen, then but eighteen years old, but whose 
learning was already famous, by degrees, and, as it would seem, 
at first of his own accord, undertook the conduct^ of the first 
^ yge^ Chrirtian school in the world. Some time having elapsed, and 
■ehooi: there appearing no hope that the 'persecution would cease, or 
that Clemens would return, Demetrius confirmed Origen in his 
chacge, and entrusted to him the care of the Catechumens. 

Origen's first resolution on assuming his new office was, 
to apply himself entirely to the study of theology.* With this 
yiew, he sold all his grammatical and philosophical books, for 
an annuity of four oboli a day: and his frugality and abstemious- 
ness enabled him to support life on this small sum. His meals 
bis ascetic were 80 Scanty, that he seriously impaired his health ; he never 
tasted wine ; he had but one garment ; in the severest winters 
it was his custom to go barefoot ; his fasts were frequent and 
rigorous, and he had no other couch but the bare floor. His 
reputation for learning and ability soon extended itself widely. 
His disciples were numerous ; they attended him not only from 
the commoner class of Christians, but from those of higher 

1 Enseb. H. E. ¥. 16. is fiir more probable than the uaoal 

9 Haet cannot understand how history deduced by Huet and others, 

Origen could have been ( 14) from the words of Eusebius. See 

a disciple of Pantaenus : Tillemont note a, Huet. Origen. p. 83, as 

explains the difficulty. appended to the fourth Tolume of 

' Thus De la Rue reconciles Euseb. De la Rue's Edition of Origen. 
(H. E. vi. 1) with S. Jerome, (Catalog. « Euseb. H. £. vL 3. 

Script. Eccles. 54,) ; and his account 




attainments in philosophy; nay, there were Pagans who scrupled 
not to be his auditors. In the meantime, the persecution be- 
came still more violent under Aquila,^ the successor of Laetus ; 
and many of Origen's disciples laid down their Hves for the niartyniomj 
truth. The &st of these was Plutarch, his earUest hearer; Jf J*!* **^*- 
Origen accompanied him to the place of suffering, and consoled 
him in his last moments. The friends of Plutarch, however, 
regarding him as the cause of the disgrace and death of their 
relation, attempted his life; and he narrowly escaped their 
designs. Six others of his disciples fell in the same persecution. 
Serenus was burnt; Heracleides, a catechumen, and Heron, 
who had but recently received baptism, were beheaded ; another 
Serenus was honoured by Martyrdom, but in what manner is 
unknown ; and Herais,^ also a catechumen, received, says the 
historian, a baptism of fire. But of all the pupils of Origen, 
Basileides was the most celebrated. 

A Christian slave, named Potamisena, having refused to comply ^^ g p^^^^^^ 
with the unholy suggestions of her master, was accused by him ™**"*- 
to Aquila, and condemned, after being stripped, to be plunged 
into a caldron of boiling pitch. She requested that she m^ht 
be allowed to retain her garments, and voluntarily offered to 
be lowered by slow degrees into it. Her offer was accepted, and 
Basileides was appointed to preside at the execution. He 
treated her with as much kindness as circumstances enabled 
him to bestow, and in assuring him of her gratitude, she also 
promised not to forget him in the state on which she was about 
to enter. A short time afterwards, his comrades, for some 
unrecorded reason, endeavoured to oblige him to swear by the 
gods. He refused, alleging that he was a Christian. They at 
first treated the declaration as made in jest ; but, on discovering 
that Basileides spoke seriously, they hurried him before the 

1 Baronius, (a.d.205, yi.) thinks that 
at the beginmng of the persecation of 
AquUa he left Alexandria, and took 
reliige at Csesarea in Cappadocia, 
where he remained two years. He 
rests for his authority on a statement 
of Palladins (c. 147). But the account 
hardly agrees with Origen's great de- 
sire of martyrdom. 

s Valesins, (in H. E. tI. 4) dis- 
tinguishes three martyrs of this name, 
respectively commemorated on the 5th 
of March, and the 5th and 23rd of 
September. They are not mentioned 
in the Coptic Calendar, perhaps 
because they were pupils of Origen. 


leide^"*" V^^^f ^^^ thence to prison. The ChnBtians were no less 
astonished at his confession than the Pagans ; not having any 
previous reason to imagine him a convert. In answer to their 
inquiries as to the method in which the event was brought 
about^ he informed them that his conversion was wrought by a 
vision^ in which S. Potamiaena had appeared, and holding forth 
a crown promised it to him. He was baptised in the prison, 
and beheaded the next day. 

Undismayed by the sufferings of his friends and disciples, 
Origen let no opportunity pass of shewing his sympathy with 
the sufferers in the cause of Christ. He visited them in prison, he 
was at their side when before the tribimal, he accompanied them 
to the place of punishment ; he conversed with them, he prayed 
with them, he encouraged them, he supported them, he gave 
them the kiss of peace. He exposed himself in every possible 

origren*8 ar. manner to the fury of the heathens, from whom, on several 
occasions, he very narrowly escaped; he was more than once 
arrested, and his life seemed preserved by the special inter- 
position of Providence. 

Pemetrius^ heard with feelings of respect and admiration the 
hardy actions of the young Christian philosopher; and encou- 
raged him to persevere in the path he had chosen, assuring him 
that it could not fail of obtaining a glorious reward. But, after 
a while, rumours of a less pleasing character reached the ears of 
the Bishop. It was said that Origen had interpreted too literally 

and mis- the sayiug of our Saviour with respect to those eunuchs who 
had made themselves so for the kingdom of Heaven^s sake, and 
had indeed acted on that misinterpretation. Demetrius inter- 
rogated him on the subject, and obtained a confirmation of the 
fact from his own lips : he pleaded in extenuation, that the situ- 
ations into which he was thrown as " Catechist," when attended 
by women as well as by men, presented sometimes considerable 
temptation, the occurrence of which he thought it better to 
prevent. Demetrius heard his defence with more of surprise 
than anger ; indeed, considering the harsh manner in which he 
afterwards treated Origen, he hardly appears to have, in the 
outset, dealt fairly with him. It is but just to add, that at a 

» Euseb. H. E. vi. 8. 




later period of life, Origen himself condemned his own mis- 
interpretation of the passage in question.^ 

About the same time, Origen published his first commentary 
on the Canticles, which, at a later period of his life, after a careful 
revisal, he again^ presented to the public, thus ingenuously con- 
fessing, that to attempt the exposition of Holy Scripture at so 
immature an age, was both presumptuous and dangerous. 

The death of the Emperor Severus put a stop to the perse- ^.c. an. 
cution; for Garacalla, whether from motives of policy or humanity, 
commanded that it should not be carried on. Origen profited 
by the calm to visit Eome,^ where his stay was of no long con- He goes to 
tinuance. Demetrius was so sensible of the value of his labours, 
that he urged him to resume them without loss of time , so 
little culpability did he at this period attach to the hasty act 
we have before related. Origen, however, feeling himself 
physically unequal to the whole responsibihty of the Christian 
school, divided it into two portions; the one containing the 
students of inferior abiUty or learning ; the other, those whose 
parts and appHcation were more remarkable. The ' former 
division he entrusted to the care of Heraclas,^ his friend and associates 
pupil, brother of S. Plutarch the Martyr, and the successor of ^l^^i^. 
both Origen and Demetrius ; of the more advanced class he ^^' 
took charge himseK* He imdertook the study of the Hebrew 
language, in which he acquired considerable proficiency by com- 
paring the original- with the versions of Aquila, Symmachus, 
and the Seventy. His lectures on philosophy and the subjects 
connected with it, were attended by many of the heathen 
students; his name was mentioned by the philosophers with 
respect, and their writings were dedicated to him. Nor had he 
less reputation among heretics. One of these, a Yalentinian, 

^ For example : on S. Matthew ziz. 
12, he says, XpiiaiiMV cts iworpowiiv 
Otpfjt&v fi\y ry vitrrfi V€»r4pwVj oTs 
dfw\oyf7v XP^ ^^' tffwra ff<o<ppo<r^yris 
txovoiv, &^A.* ob icar* hrlyvuxrw^ it;T.A. 
where he is evidently referring to his 
own case. (Ed. De la Rue, iii. 
654, £.) 

3 S. Hieron. Pnef. in Abd, vi. 361. 

^ Baronlufl, IL 459, fixes this jour- 


ney of Origen's to Rome in-Ihe reign 
of Heliogabalus, whereas Eusebius 
(vi. 14,) expressly places it in that of 
Caracalla. The Cardinal imagines 
him also to have undertaken a second 
journey thither in 248, a.d., from a 
misunderstanding of Porphyry. Vale- 
sius corrects both these errors. 
^Euseb. H. 15. 


named Ambrose^ of great reputation in the city both for his 
riches and abiUtjr, was converted by him to the Catholic Faith ; 
and this success was the means of establishing still more firmly 
his reputation. Many other heretics and many Pagans were 
brought to a knowledge of the truth by the profound reasonings 
and eloquence of the Christian philosopher. Of the heathen 
who did not embrace the Faith^ many openly professed them- 
selves admirers of its teacher : and the testimony of Porphyry^ 
the bitter enemy of Christianity^ as preserved by Eusebius^ 
shews in what general estimation Origen was held. It would 
appear that in these occupations several years passed away: 
nor was Origen^s career of usefulness interrupted till a go- 
vernor of Arabia^ having heard much of the prodigy of learning 
that had arisen at Alexandria^ dispatched a pressing request 
^^ to the Bishop and to the Prefect^ that they would send him 

without loss of time into that country. Origen went^ and 
having satisfied his entertainers on some points of science^ 
returned again into Egypt. But his tranquiUity was disturbed, 
A.D.S15, and his life endangered^ by civil commotions. 

Alexandria had made herself " drunk with the blood of the 
martyrs/^ and her time for punishment had come. Caracalla, who 
professed to form his habits on those of Alexander the Great, 
afiected a particular love for the city of which that Conqueror was 
the founder. The inhabitants by no means reciprocated this 
friendly feeling, and made the Emperor the subject of their 
raillery, to which the whole course of his life laid him open, 
but especially the murder of his brother ; and raillery was an 
offence which he could not forgive. Under pretence of a solemn 
festival he assembled the youth of the city; and at a given 
muMM^ of signal, a part of his troops fell upon them^ while another part 
caracaiia commenced a massacre in the town, which lasted many days. 
The number of the dead was never known ; '' nor did it mat- 
ter,^' observed Caracaiia, in writing to the Senate, " how many 
had actually suffered, since all deserved to do so.^' 
retires into From thcsc sceues Origen withdrew into Palestine, and took 
Palestine. ^^ j^j^ abode at Csesarea. And hence we may date the rise 

of his troubles. He was not yet in Priest's orders ; but the 
different Bishops of Palestine, out of respect to his learning 
and character, invited him to explain the Scriptures in their 


respective churclies. Demetrius^ on receiving the news of this 
proceedings wrote a remonstrance ; the things he said^ was un- 
canonical and irregular ; none but a Priest could speak in the 
presence of his Bishop; and that even a Priest should do so^ 
had been^ and was^ in many places counted improper ; Origen^ 
on the contrary^ had not yet arrived at that dignity^ and took^ 
upon himself this office out of his own Diocese. Alexander of 
Jerusalem and Theoctistus^ of Cssarea urged^ in reply^ that they 
were not the first who had thus authorised laics ; that it had 
been the practice of Bishops^ who possessed the most eminent 
reputation for sanctity^ such as Neon at'Laranda^^ Atticus at 
Synnada^ and Celsus at Iconium ; that if any person^ not in Holy 
Orders, was capable of throwing any Kght on the Scripture, his ^tsmSiS 
assistance should be accepted with thankfulness, not stigmatised £ra.^^° 
as an intrusion, and forbidden as an irregularity. This answer 
did not satisfy Demetrius ; and it must be confessed, that al- 
though jealousy of Origen^s attainments might have in some 
degree influenced his conduct, his objections had much force, 
and scarcely any violation of the Canons might not be justified 
on grounds similar to those adopted by the Bishops of Palestine. 
The Prelate not only wrote to Origen, but sent some of his 
deacons to command his instant return, and the order was 

Origen was now engaged, at the request of his friend ^^ 
Ambrose, in the composition of those Commentaries on Holy 
Scripture, some of which have descended to our own time. 
His friend^s zeal scarcely allowed the philosopher the necessary 
time for food and repose, and well earned for him the title of 
Adamantius. In correcting and polishing his works, Origen 
owns^ how much he was indebted to the kindness and liberality 
of Ambrose. Grateful for the benefit which he had received 
from Origen, he provided him with seven amanuenses: the 
genius and fluency of the philosopher being able to keep so 

1 Photius calls bim Theoteclmus. ^ Epist. ad Afric. ad fin. (L 29, f.) 

^ Euseb. 19. — Larandawas Tlpotrayopt^fi at 6 arwayupurdfityot 

a see of Lycaonia, near Derbe. Its rf 6irayopf^cru rrjs 4vi<rT0\ris, «al 

Prelates sign in the first and fourth ^aparvxifyTtUry a{np,ivohfi€$o^\rtreu 

(Ecumenical Councils. Synnada or iutpdwad/jityos, K^piSs /uov koI &ScA^^f 

Synnas was the metropolis of Phrygia Uf^s AfAfip6a'ioSf k.t.A. 
Salutaris, and had Bishops as late, at 
least, as 1450. 


many employed. But^ as it is well remarked by Baronius^ 
hi8 friend- ^ An inheritance may be gotten hastily in the beginnings but 
AnSirose: the end thereof shall not be blessed.^^ If S. Jerome^ and 
S. Ambrose were incapable of supplying sufficient work for one 
notary^ the rapidity of Origen^s conceptions must be allowed to 
have been full of danger : and the event proves that it was fraught 
with mischief. Ambrose provided the whole expenses which 
were necessary to enable Origen to carry on his studies: they, 
were inseparable companions ^? their meals were always improved 
by the reading of some grave work. Ambrose boldly confessed^ 
the faith of Ghbist j at what time is not ascertained : but 
incurred reproach affcer his death for not having in his wiU 
remembered Origen^ whose poverty he must have well known. 

Towards the end of the reign of Caracalla^ Titus Flavins 

Clemens^ commonly known as S. Clement of Alexandria^ 

(though in truth he has no claim to the honour of canonization/) 

rested from his labours. As a writer^ we are hardly concerned 

with him^ farther than to observe that the errors and follies 

which, under Origen's name, distracted the Church, seem to 

have been to some extent a developement of Clement's teaching. 

Had we his Hypotyposes, we should be able to speak with more 

decision on this point. According to Photius, his doctrine m 

this work was heterodox in an almost incredible degree. 

A.D. 217. The murder of Caracalla in Mesopotamia, and the rapid 

8^8. succession of Macrinus and HeHogabalus, gave the Church 

another interval of peace. Alexander, who was next elevated to 

the purple, was still more favourably disposed to the Christians, 

having, it is said, in his private oratory, among other images, 

those of Abraham and of the Saviouiu 

he visits Shortly affcer the succession of Heliogabalus, Mammsea, the 

Mammaea, j^othcr of Alexander, (whom Eusebius^ characterises as a most 

devout woman, if any ever deserved the title,) being at Antioch, 

^ S. Jerome, Comm. Galat. iii. learned Brief of Benedict XIV. pre- 
Proem. 7, 485, 6. He graphically fixed to his Edition of the Roman Mar- 
describes the inconvenience which tyrology. 

was the result of the employment ^ Euseb. H. E. vi. 21. So also 

of an amanuensis. S. Jerome speaks of her. — Catalog. 54. 

3 S. Hieron. Ep. ad Marc i. 192. The question whether Mammsea waa 

3 S. Hieron. Catal. 57. (ii. 897.) a Christian, is involved in great diffi- 

^ See this point discussed in the cultles. — SeeSchrockh.C.K.G.iv.6. 


and having heard of Origen^ great reputation^ was desirous of 
conversing with him. She accordingly sent for him^ and^ 
accompanied by a guard of honour^ he went to Antioch. He 
there discoursed at large on the verities of the Christian Faith, 
and, after some time, returned to Alexandria. 

But in this season of tranquiUity, heresy was busy : Tertullian 
had joined the Montanists, and his powerful eloquence was a 
loss to the Gathohcs not easily to be replaced. Greece, in 
particular, swarmed with heretics ; and the assistance of Origen 
was requested in exposing and refuting their statements. lUyria, goeiinto 
the Dioecese of which Greece was a part, was then in the 
Patriarchate of Rome, though afterwards transferred to that of 
Constantinople ; so that Origen^s {ame must have extended^ far 
and wide, or an unordained member of a totally different 
Patriarchate would scarcely have been summoned. He requested 
leave from Demetrius, who not only consented, but gave him 
recommendatory letters, with which he passed into Palestine. 
In relating the difference which followed, a most undeserved 
imputation has been attached by ecclesiastical historians to the 
character of the Bishop of Alexandria. No sooner had Origen 
reached Csesarea, than Theoctistus and Alexander, whom we^*i>-*>s» 
have mentioned before, ordained him Priest. Demetrius was^Jd^ed 
naturally indignant ; and if it had been kinder still to con- ^***' 
ceal Origen's early fault, we cannot wonder that the uncanonical 
nature of his ordination induced the Bishop to publish it, by way 
of proving it altogether irregular, and contrary to ecclesiastical 
discipline. For by the Apostolical Constitutions^ it was for- 
bidden to ordain such as Origen; and the prohibition was 
repeated in the Coimcil of Nicaea. Alexander, in reply, stated 
that his ground for ordaining Origen was the letter of recom- 
mendation which Demetrius himself had furnished. We are 
not informed of the rejoinder of the latter, but he might well 
have urged that his letters were given for the purpose of pro- J>«°>«tria» 
curing a friendly reception for Origen, not to be used as passports "*™**" » 
to the Priesthood; and that, although the Bishops of Palestine 
might not be aware of the canonical incapacity for ordination of 
him on whom they had laid their hands, Origen himself was, 

^ Rufintts,Vers.H.E.£ ^ ^pp. Constt. Cann. 21, 22. 



and had therefore incurred the triple fault of deceiving them^ 
and acting contrary^ in two particulars^ to the Canon. 

In the meantimcj the cause of this dispute proceeded on his 
mission;^ and having accomplished his work in Greece^ returned 
by Ephesus^ to Alexandria^ hoping perhaps to find Demetrius 
more favourably disposed^ and trusting to the influence of time 
in softening down his anger« If such were his hopes^ they 
were fallacious. The Bishop retained an undiminished sense 
of his fault; and determined to take public notice of it. He 
assembled a Council^ and laid before them not only the 
irregularity of Origen^s Ordination^ but a series of errors 
he banishes extracted from his writings. The latter must have presented a 
formidable appearance^ as the works which ha composed during 
his residence at Alexandria comprised his four books on Prin- 
ciples; known to us almost entirely through the translation of 
BufinuS; who has softened down some of the most obnoxious 
expressions ; five books of his Commentary on S. John ;* eight 
of that on Genesis; an exposition of the first twenty-five 
PsahnS; and of the Lamentations of Jeremiah; two books on 
the Resurrection^ and ten of Stromateis^ in imitation of those 
of his master Clement.^ The Council having examined the 
extracts submitted to it from the works of Origen/ unani- 
mously condemned them^ and Demetrius not only forbade their 
author to teach^ but even to reside^ in Alexandria. Origen^ 
leaving his school to the care of his disciple Heraclas^ retired to 
Csesarea. Demetrius shortly afterwards assembled another 
Council; in which; with the consent of the Bishops^ he pro- 

* S. Epiphanius, Hseres. 64, (i.524) 
relates the sufferings which Origen 
endured at Athens for the sake of the 
Truth, but immediately after invalidates 
his own testimony, by saying, that he 
was in that city for the sake of ad- 
vancing himself in philosophy. As 
Origen was now more than forty, the 
latter assertion is impossible. 

s So Huet, at least, very probably 
conjectures. — Origeniana i.ll,p.89.D. 
B Euseb. H. E. vi. 24. 

* This part of Origen* s history is 
unfortunately obscure, because Euse- 

bius, instead of relating it at length, 
refers us to the second book of his 
Apology for that writer. All that we 
know is contained in the Bibliotheca 
of Photius, and in a fragment of the 
defence of Origen by Pamphilus. 
Eusebius contradicts himself as to the 
time of Origen's flight from Alexan- 
dria; and Baronius, in noticing the 
discrepancy between his chronicle and 
his history, falls into the mistake of 
supposing that he was excommunicated 
before his departure. — See the able 
note of Valesius ; Euseb. H. £. vi. 26. 


ceeded to the length of deposing and exconuniinicating Origen ; ^jLJ^^**** 
Heraclas was present^ and subscribed the sentence. 

It is not wonderful that in later ages the traditions of the 
Alexandrine Churchy as well Catholic as Jacobite^ should have 
branded Origen mth the title of magician. The Catholic 
writers of that country, not possessing his works, nor having 
been aware of the really great and excellent points in his 
character, knomng that S. Cyril, whose memory is deservedly 
precious among both the Orthodox and Monophysites, was a 
bitter enemy of both Origen and his followers, considering also 
the edict of Justinian, in which the latter were condemned, as 
possessing the same weight as the decree of an (Ecumenical 
Council, have naturally loaded mth every kind of calumny the 
memory ot one whom they were thus from their births taught 
to hate, while Demetrius, his opponent, is reckoned among 
the Saints. 

The days of this Prelate were now drawing to a close ; and ^^^ 
his last moments were embittered by the knowledge that his iS™5Sx" 
sentence of deposition and excommunication was disregarded •"*''*• 
by the Bishops of Palestine. By them Origen was, as before, 
invited to preach ; his disciples were numerous : the most 
illustrious among them were Theodorus, afterwards known by 
the name of S. Gregory^ the Wonderworker, from his astonish- 
ing miracles, and Tryphon^ the philosopher. 

Alexandrian writers affirm^ Demetrius to have been, in a 
supernatural degree, possessed of the power of knowing the 
hearts of those who came to the Holy Communion; and 
assert that an extraordinary degree of purity in his Church 
was the result. What is more certain is, that he wrote to 
the other Patriarchs on the Paschal computation ; and, 
froin his time, as some think,^ it became the office as the 
Nicene Council made it the duty of the Bishop of Alex- 
andria, to give notice every year on what day Easter would 
fall. He is also said to have invented the system of Epacts. 

Having governed his Church for more than forty-two years Death of s. 
and a half, a longer period than the Chair of S. Mark was ever 

^ S. Greg. Nyss. in vita S. Greg. ^ Renaudot p. 20. 

Thaum. * EutycMus i. 362. 

s S. Hieron. de Vir. lU. d7, (ii. 297.) 



filled by one Prelate with the exception of S. Athananos^^ he 
was taken away from the evil to come^ dying three years and a 
half before the conunencement of the crael persecution under 

Patr. XIII. 
A J). SSI.* 


HeraclaS;^ the former firiend^^ and subsequent condemner of 
Origen^ succeeded to the vacant chair. He appears to have 
been far advanced in years, and on that account transferred^ not 
only the Christian school, but also the greater part of his Epis- 
copal labours, to Dionysius, his successor.^ He renewed the 
renew! the scutence^ of cxcommunication against Origen ; and in his Canons 
agaioat ou Pcnancc, inveighed severely against the intercourse which the 
Faithful carried on with proscribed heretics ; among whom 
probably the Origenians were uppermost in his mind. Whe- 
ther it were either vdse or justifiable to pursue the system of 
Demetrius, and thus to hazard a schism between the Sees of 
Csesarea and Alexandria, appears very questionable ; the rather 
that Origen was now, by the testimony of all, exerting himself 
greatly for the faith. Besides carrying on his Commentaries 
on the Old Testament, he was labouring at his parallel 
arrangements of Greek versions with the Hebrew text. In 

^ Among the Jacobite Patriarchs, 
John XVII., Bomamed El Tooki, 
enjoyed that dignity for forty-three 
yean and two month8» namely, from 
1675 till 1718. And PoUtian, the 
thirty-ninth Catholic Patriarch, is said 
by Eutychins, though probably by 
mistake, to have held it forty -six 
years. — See Book iiL sect. 6. 

s Euseb. H. £. vi. 26. 

B Sevems names this Patriarch, 
Hieroda ; Eutychins, Hercol ; Makri- 
zi, Theoclas: — our Coptic Catalogue, 

* Baronios asserts (ii. 558,) that 
Heradas was well disposed towards 
Origen. The contrary is shewn to 
have been the case by Pagi, in the 
same place, and Huet Origen. i. 2, 15, 

from the testimony of Gennadios, and 
the anther of the life of S. Pachondos. 
Indeed Baronios himself oonfesaes as 
mnch, in quoting the constitation of 
the Emperor Justinian against Origen, 
addressed to Menas, iz. 585. 

' So Justinian : (Conf.Labb^'s Coun- 
cils: tom. V. 660. — 'O icar' ixuvo 
fuucapirris 'HpoicAaf ... Ik fjL4arov rod 
KdKov fftrov TovToy l|priXcy, &f rod 
trornpov {ifavfov tvra &Ai|6»5. — And 
in the Life of S. Pachomius : - (Acta 
Bolland. Mai. tom. iii. ad finem.) 
*Tir^ 'HpoKA^ rov rris AAc|ay8pc(af 
ApXKiruric<firoi; r^s licicA,i}0'(at ij^iffni* 

* The date of this event is attended 
with great difficulties. — See lie Quien, 
u.391,2; Baron. u. 519,1; Pagi,ibid; 
Scherius, p. 20. 




his Octapla were eight columns^ arranged thus:— the Hebrew Hie octspia. 

in Hebrew characters; the same in Greek characters; the 

version of Aquila ; that of Symmachus ; that of the Seventy ; 

that of Theodotion; and finally two other versions discovered 

by Origen himself^ called the Fifth and Sixths because their 

authors were unknown. The Hexapla omitted the Fifth and 

Sixth versions ; the Tetrapla, also the two Hebrew texts. 

On this work the compiler was engaged twenty-eight years. 

He also was the means of crushing in its infancy the heresy of 

of Beryllus^ Bishop of Bostra in Arabia^ and of bringing back 

its author to the True Faith. He taught that our Saviour 

had not existed as a separate^ and self-existent Person before 

the Incarnation. 

But Heraclas was soon caUed upon to set an example to a.d. sss. 
his flock of courage and resolution. Alexander having been 
murdered in his tent by the gigantic and brutal Maximin^ 
was succeeded by him. This Goth^^ having discovered a con- 
spiracy formed against him by the servants of the late emperor^ 
among whom were several Christians^ took thence occasion to 
commence a general persecution, which is reckoned as the Seventh ; ^^^^ 
it was, however, not so sanguinary as many. It was principally of SSmto : 
directed against the Bishops and Priests; and it appears that 
Heraclas,^ to avoid its fury, retired from Alexandria. Several 
inhabitants, however, both of that city, and of other parts of 
Egypt, glorified God by their sufferings in it. On its cessation, 
Heraclas retiimed to the city. Whether it were now, or at an 
earlier period, that the fame of his learning induced the Ecclesias- 
tical writer, Julius Africanus,* to visit Alexandria, is not certain ; 

* Fleury says (yu 12,) " et qull 
n*aToit point d'aatre divinity que ceUe 
da Pere Qui babitoit en Lui.*' This 
is, thus stated, (and it is a fair trans- 
lation of the words of Eusebias, 
ifiwoXrrwofUyiiv . AJrf fidpffv rV 
Harpuc^) a Catholic yerity; and to 
maintain the opposite doctrine is 
Tritheism. But, if BeryUus were 
heiretical on this point, it was by 
teaching that the Son was not 
properly, but only appellativdy and 
participatiyely God. In his other 

assertion, that our Lord had not pre- 
existed, KAT* iZuitf ovalat ircpcypo^y, 
or, as it would haye been expressed at 
a later period, icar' iiiai^ ivoardortws 
letpiypwp^y, where ir^piypa^ is, as 
Valesius proves, to be taken in the 
logical sense of diferentia, he is 
undoubtedly heretical. 

^ By his mother^i side he was of the 
Alan nation, which was of the Slayonic 

^ Ruinart, Act. Sine 41. 

* Euseb. H.E. yi. 31. 




whenever the event took place^ it is a strong testimony to the 
merits of Heraelas^ because Afiicanus was the friend of Origen. 

Alexandria was fortunately no sufferer in the civil commotions 
which followed; the Gordians appeared as claimants of the 
purple in Africa^ and lost their lives in the attempt; Puppienus 
and Balbinus assumed it^ with brighter auspices^ at Bome^ and 
the head of Maximin was sent by his soldiers, engaged in the 
siege of Aquileia, as an acceptable present to the Senate. But 
the Capitoline games put an end to the lives and reigns of 
emperors in whose election the army had had no voice ; and 
the young Gordian, a mere child, who had been previously made 
Csesar to gratify the people, succeeded. In an expedition 
against the Persians, PhiUp, Prefect of the Prsetorians, excited 
the soldiery against him, and in spite of his earnest entreaties 
for a share in the empire, — ^for the title of Csesar, — ^for the 
Prefecture of the Praetorians, — ^for the government of a Province, 
— and lastly for life, caused him to be murdered, and assumed 
the purple. 

Heraclas did not long survive this event; he was removed 
from his labours after having governed the See of Alexandria 
more than fifteen years.^ The Egyptian writers, having nothing 
authentic to tell of him, are reduced to put forth fables ; as that 
he was the first Bishop of Alexandria to whom the title of Pope 
was given ; whereas the mere student of Ecclesiastical History 
knows it to have been in use long before the time of Heraclas ; 
and, originally, to have applied even to Priests, — and to have 
been of common use as regards Bishops.^ Again, it is affirmed 

^ Easeb. H. E. yi. 35, says sixteen : 
but lie most be understood to mean 
part of sixteen, or fifteen complete : 
in the same way as where he mentions 
forty-three years as the period of the 
Episcopate of Demetrius, he must be 
understood to mean more than forty- 
two. — Le Quien, iL 393. 

3 TertuUian's testimony (dePudicit. 
cap. xiii.) is dear ; so are the su- 
perscriptions of many letters to S. 
Cyprian : even by the confession of 
Pameliua and Rigaltius. To this day, 
the Alexandrian Church, both Coptic 
and Catholic, uses it; so does the 

Ethiopian; so also the Syrians term 
the Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch, 
and the Catholic or Mafrian of 
Assyria. Eutychius's account of the 
origin of the name at Alexandria is as 
follows (i. 332} : — One of the twenty 
Bishops whom Heraclas created, named 
AmmoniuB, having in some manner 
transgressed the Canons, the Patriarch 
visited his Diocese, to restore order. 
The people heard their Bishops 
address him as Abba, father, and 
reasoned thus : If we call the Bishop 
Father, and he calls Heraclas Father, 
then the Patriarch must be our grand- 


that he created twenty new sees, a thing most unlikely, since 
it is hardly probable that in his short patriarchate he should 
even have consecrated that number of Bishops. Of his peni- 
tential Canons, once, particularly those on conversation with 
heretics, of considerable reputation, nothing remains at this 

As Origen will scarcely again appear in our pages, and as 
his teaching and his influence operated, both for good and for 
evil, on the Alexandrian Church long after his decease, it will 
not be out of place to touch a little on his doctrine and opinions, 
the rather because disputes to which they gave rise will hereafter 
occupy our attention. He is to be judged not by his earher 
writings, nor by his familiar communications to friends; not 
by the interpretation of his enemies, nor as an author, the whole 
of whose teachmg we possess ; but by the works of his matured orfgen's 

, , writings : 

judgment, and which he himself intended for pubhcation. |>°^ *? ^ 
Again, writing before the Council of Nicsea, he is not to be 
hastily condemned, should some of his statements appear to 
differ verbally from the Confession of the Three Hundred and 
Eighteen : provided it shall appear that, allowing his words that 
fair latitude of expression which will be conceded to them by 
all unprejudiced readers, they are not opposed to its meaning. 
How successfully Bishop Bull has vindicated the memory of 
Origen from the imputation of heresy, so far as regards the 
Divinity of the Son of God, the EngUsh scholar needs not to 
be told. He might, perhaps, have rendered his apology still 
more triumphant, (though not more conviucing,) had he con- 
fined himself less entirely to the Reply to Celsus, allowedly 
the most satisfactory of Origen's remaining works. 

His express and formal statements on the Mystery of the 
Adorable Trinity are not to be set aside by expressions of a 
more ambiguous character, and phrases which, in themselves, 
might receive a heterodox interpretation. That Joshua, in pass- 
father, Baba ; whence Papa. Makrizi that Balsamoa, so atrenuous a defender 
(65, 66,) repeats the tale with of Oriental rights, should affirm {Jus, 
variations. This is at least equal in Gr, Lat. lib. yii.) that this title was 
probability to the hypothesis of bestowed by the Roman See on S. 
those who derive the Roman name Cyril, when acting as its Legate 
Papa from Pater Patriae, or from in the Council of Ephesus. 
Paulus and Pftrus. It is singular 



ffultements ^^8 *^® Jordan, was a type of the very God^; tliat the rulers. 
Dimity of ^^ account of the Divinity^ of Jesus, offered their supplications 
Qoif ?" *^' to Him ; that the same Christ That spake with the woman^ 
by the well, was the God of the humble; that it was the 
Son of God That said. No man shall see My Face, and live^; 
that His also are the words to be considered. If I am a 
Master, where is My fear ?^ — ^Words which the prophet ascribes 
to none other than Jehovah ; — ^that Christ is God, the Son 
of GoD,^ the Very Word, the Very Wisdom, the Very Verity ; 
that he who shall say. There was a time when the Word 
was not,7 says in effect. There was a time when Wisdom was 
not. Truth was not. Life was not; that if the Son of God 
were not Eternal,^ neither could the Father be Eternal; 
that the Magi brought gifts to Him^ That was composed of 
God and mortal man; that GrOD appeared in a human body 
for the benefit of our race^^; that God, Who is above all created 
things,^^ was made man; that the Father and the Son are 
One^2 in identity of Will ; that all things that are in the 

^ Horn, de Engastrimytbo (ii.497, E.) 
Tlph rijs rov Kvptov fiov *liqaov Xpurrov 
ixiirifiias bjbvvvrov ^v rwa irap€\$€iy 
fc.r.X. &<rirtp rhw *Iop8c(n|v obx ^v 
otbtvhs 6ioiroiri<rou 9l *lii<rov* (rod 
iiK'^iPOV 6cov r{nrof ^v ixtTifOf *Ii|(roSf .) 

3 In S. Joan. torn. zUL 58 (iv. 274. 
A.) Twv &px<^i^v'''"'^iK(n'airc«'Aify^rai 
riiv Zivofuv Aibrou, Ka\ r^y 6cdT^a» 
wpocnrt^vyivaL Ahrf. 

> In S. Joan. torn. ziii. 28, (iv. 238, 
A.B.) The passage is too long for 

* In S. Matt. torn. xiL 43, (iii. 566, 
C.) Tby **Tthv rov 9cov iccxp)7AM>riK^*'ai 
MoNTcT, Kot Airhp tXyai rhv itpriKSra' 
Oh yhp ififrrrcu IhfBfwiros, le.r.A,. 

« In S. Joan, torn. i. 31 (iy. 33, B.) 
Ei KHpiSf ci/u *E7ci», woo, k.t.A. Aov\oi 
TiryxcCvoiMri Kvptov rod Hoirrjpos air&v 

< Cont. Celsum. iii. 41. (i. 474, A.) 
**Oy ircirefoTAcOa &p^^0cv cTi^m 9c^v oral 
'TihpB€ov,AZros6 AbroX^ot iarn ical ^ 
Atiroaofia Koi 4f A^roaAij^cfa. 

7 Peri Archon, iv. 28. (i. 190, E.) 
Qaomodo ergo potest did, quia fuit 
aliquando quando non fuit Filius? 
Nihil enim aliud est id dicere, nisi fuit 
aliquando quando Veritas non erat, 
quando S^pientia non eratyquandoVita 
non erat 

^ See the famous passage. In Jerem. 
Horn. iz. 4, (iii. 181.) 

» Cont. Celsum. L 60, (L 375» A.) 
A&pa i, fy* ofhus hvofido'eo, avvBir^ 
Ttk\ ix B€Ov Ka^ iy0p(&Tov Bir^ov 

10 Cont. Celsum. i. 68. (L 383, D.) 
n&s ^X&yoi haf ris AMy . . . fc^ kot* 
hrayytXtcuf rod [Ocov] — for so it seems 
best to read with later Editors, — S^hv 
€lvai iriartvot iv ia^pwwiim ^avivra 
otifiari lir' c^pYccr/f rov y4vovs iitmy ; 

^ In S. Joan. torn. ii. 28, (iv. 87, B.) 
0€^s,*0 Mp irdvra rh ycnyri, ivffy$p^ 

wCont CeUum. viU. 12,(i.751, A.) 
*Eir T$ ravT&niTi rov fiouXitC/MfTOSu 




Father* are in the Son j — thetie clear and deifinite assertions 
cannot be overthrown by teaching of iafiore dubious orthodoxy. 
So that we shall endeavour to etplttin^ 6t adopt in their most 
orthodox sense^ such expressions^ as^ thst the operation of the 
Father extends to all things ; that of the SoN^ as less than 
the Father, to such as are rational only; that of the Holy 
Ghoi^t, as less than the Sow, to such as are holy only; as, 
again, that the Son^ is a Second God ; that the Word, com- 
pared with the Father, is not the Truth,* but compared with 
us, the Image only of the Truth ; thAt the Son^ is not the 
Most High God over all ; that the Father, and not the Son,® 
is to be addressed in prayer ; that the Father atnd the Son are 
hypostatically Two,^ it being usual, in the time of Qrigcn, to 
use hypostasis in the sense of snbstance. 

Again, with respect to the Divinity of the HolY GhobT, the of the 
statements of Origen are, in many places, clearly and formally »« holv 
orthodox. If the soul,® he writes, have not God, if it have not 
the Son, saying, I and the Father will come unto him, and 
make Our abode in him, if it have not the Holy Ghost, that 
soul is deserted ; but it is inhabited when it is fall of God. 
The Jews, he says, appeared to thirst after G^d, the only Fountain 
of Waters, but because they thirsted no* after CtfRisr and the 
Holy Ghost, neither can they drink of Gt)D.^ In like manner 
he speaks of the Trinity That rules afl things,*^^ the Trinity 
That is to be adoredi^: and yet> in other places, he seems, as we 
have seen above, to detrf the eo-equafily of the Holy Smrit 
with the Father. 

^ In Jerem. Horn. viii. 2, Ciii. 171, 
C.) tlayra yhp 2{<ra rot; OcoO, romOra iy 

3 Peri ArcliGii, i. 5, (i. 63, D. E.) 
This is one oi the passages that 
Rufinus softened down, and indeed 
totally changed ; bat it is preserved at 
the end of die Epistle of Jnstiniaii to 

3 Cont. Cdsum. v. 39, (i. 608, D.E.) 

* S. Hieronym. ad Avit. Ep. 59. 

» Cont. CeUum. viii. 714, (i. 762, 
D.) "Ecrrw 8^ rivas .. . . troriBwdau rhv 
"Zfitrripa ^vai rhv ii4ytorov M Tcttri 
8coy* oAX' olh-i yt iifith roiovroy. 

^ Cont. Celsum. viii. 13 et se4* 
? Cont. Cetenm. viii. 12, (i.7*1, A.)' 
8 I A Jerem. Rem; vitt. 1,. (ifk 170;. 

^ In Jerem. Hom. xvii. 9, (iii. 251, 
E.) ''lESo^ay Mi}ffriK4vai ftias m^^s r&y 
^imy, rod 0COV, Ioo9aidi^ ^t8# 9^ 

TlywfiM, oiiK ix^^*^^ **'*'*' ^^^ ^^ ^^^ 

w *Apxiftfiv, — In S. Matt. torn. xv. 
31,(iit. 698,B.) 

"npocin^ijT^i^— In S. Joair. torn, 
vi. 17, (vf, 133, C.) 



On the subject of the Incarnation^ Origen^s doctrine can 

hardly be accused of heresy ; and if exposed to a charge of 

error^ it is easy to explain how that error arose, and to define 

how far it extends. That the Word, Gonsubstantial with God, 

on the as touching Deity, is Gonsubstantial^ with man as touching 

Incarnation; j^^^j^j^jj^^^ — i}^^ the Hypostatical Union^ is everlasting, — ^that 

the Two Natures yet remain unmixed and unconfounded ; that 
Christ really and verily died,^ really and verily ascended into 
Heaven in our flesh, and in our flesh sitteth at the Bight Hand 
of God ; — ^these things are almost as clearly asserted by Origen, 
as by S. Cyril or S. Leo. His occasional obscurity and appear- 
ance of heterodoxy arises from his belief in the pre-existence of 
souls ; whence it followed, in his judgment, that there was an 
union of the Word with the humaa soul, before the union of 
the Word with the body. This doctrine, though erroneous, is 
not heretical ; for Origen most carefully guards himself against 
appearing to teach that there was a time when the Soul of 
Christ was not hypostatically united to the Divine Word : 
nay, he clearly deduces^ Its sanctity and impeccabiUty from 
that perpetual hypostatical union. 

But the warmest admirers of Origen must be contented 
if they can vindicate him from the charge of grave heresy; 
for the errors and absurdities which abound in his earlier 
writings, and more especially in his treatise Peri Archon, are too 
manifest to be denied, and too gross to be excused. That God 
created in the beginning a certain number of pure spirits, 
capable of retaining their original holiness, but also capable of 
falling, — ^that the greater part of these spirits actually have 
fallen, — ^that according to their degrees of guilt they were 
hto errors, punishcd by being united to matter more or less gross, — ^that 
accordingly some became angels, some stars, and others men ; that 
the Blessed are still exposed to the liability of sin, and that, on the 
other hand, Satan will one day repent and be pardoned, so that 
God shall be All in All: — ^these are but some of the many 
doctrines which, however hypothetically proposed, have rendered 

1 Cont. Celsum. yi. 47, (i. 669, E.) > Cont. Celsum. 56 (i. 430, E.) 

« Peri Archon, ii. 6, 3. (i. 90, B.) 
Deinceps inseparabiliter Ei et indis- * Peri Archon, ii. 6, 6, (i. 91, A.) 

sociabiliter inherent. 


the authority of Origen so small^ and have exposed him to 
suspicion of^ and condemnation for^ heresy in matters of graver 

It is a curious^ and not unprofitable, inquiry, in what degree, infltwnce or 
and to what eflfect, the authority of Orieen influenced the sub- the Aiexan. 

-. ' JO .- drUn School 

sequent history of the Alexandrian Church. Notwithstanding 
his general condemnation, in after ages, both by Eiast and West, 
and the more particular odium which attached to his name in 
Egypt, his influence, (or rather that of his school,) pervaded the 
Church of that country in a manner of which, at the time, his 
adversaries and his supporters were alike unconscious. In 
reading the works of Origen, we are not to consider his tenets 
and opinions as those of one isolated Doctor; — ^they are rather 
an embodiment of the doctrines handed down in the Catecheti- 
cal School of Alexandria. And this school was the type, or 
model, according to which the mind of the Alexandrian Church 
was cast : the philosophy of Pantsenus descended to Clemens, — 
and from him it was caught by Origen. Heraclas, though 
opposed to the principles of the latter, gave evident tokens of 
having imconsciously imbibed them : — ^and, still later, Pierius 
was known as the second Origen. 

The truth is, that in every people there is a national ten- 
dency to carry certain doctrines to an extreme length : an 
hereditary predisposition, so to speak, to a particular heresy. 
Thus, the English Church has, from its earliest infancy, evinced 
a tendency to Pelagianism, and the Ethiopic to Judaism. 
Now, the two great forms into which heresy has divided itself 
in all ages, have been rationalism, and that which, for want displayed in 
of a better term, we may call spiritualism, or mysticism, of the Aiez. 
Under the former division we may class Arianism, and Nes- charch to 
torianism ; under the latter, Sabellianism, Monophysitism, and 
Monothelitism. To the one, the Church of Antioch was given 
from the earliest times ; to the other, that of Alexandria. Now 
of this class was the mind of Origen, the mortal enemy of 
rationalism, and of all the heresies springing up from it. And 
Egypt never gave way to any such : and from Egypt arose the 
Doctors by whom they were overthrown : Arianism by S. 
Athanasius, Nestorianism by S. Cyril. But to mysticism it fell 
an easy prey. The head-quarters of Sabellianism were fixed in 


the Fentapolis ', and S. Dionyaius^ who first exposed that heresy^ 
was not an Egyptian by birth or education. But when^ in that 
exposure^ he himself appeared to rationalise^ his Dioecese was up 
in arms against the innovation in doctrine. Again : — ^we may 
wonder that Apollinaris, the forerunner of Eutychianism, 
isbould have risen in Syria^ till we remember that his father, 
the elder Apolhnaris, was born and bred in Alexandria. In the 
same manner Alexandria yielded to the teaching of Dioscorus ; 
while that heresy as well as Monothelitism was first detected and 
exposed in the rationalistic city of Constantinople. 

It is therefore certain, that the same principle which dictated 
the Angelic theories of Origen, gave birth to the subtle heresy 
of the Jacobites, and the still more refined poison of Monothe* 
litism. But it is also true that the same tendency, subject in 
this instance to Catholic authority, produced a S. Athanasius 
and a S. Cyril. The tendency, in itself, one way or the other, is 
neither good nor bad; the greatest saints have given proofs of 
sharing it. S. Chrysostom could not have been a Monophysite, 
nor S. Cyril a Nestorian. 

Nor is it any objection to urge, that the doctrine of Origen 
has been accused of Arianism, but never of Sabellianism, and 
that it wa« actually appealed to by the Arians in defence of their 
tenets. It is the property of heresy, that apparently opposing 
forms should be, in the long run, identical. Thus, nothing can, 
at first sight, seem more directly contrary to Arianism than 
Nestorianisn^ ; yet, in truth, the result of both is the same. — 
And, indeed, there are passages in the writings of Origen, of 
an apparently^ Sabellian tendency, which have not received the 
consideration, nor been thought worthy of the explanation, that 
they merit. 

In short, Origen's claim to orthodoxy will probably remain 
an enigma until the end of aD things. He can hardly be 
accused of heresy whom S. Athanasius, S. Basil, S, Gregory 
Nazianzen, S. Hilary, S. Ambrose, and S. Goregory Nyssen, have 
defended ;— he can hardly be acquitted of it whom so many 
synods, if not a General Couwil, have condemned. 

» Cont. CeUnm. vi. 64. (i. 6«1, P.) In Jercm. Eom.jui. 1. (Ui. 262, A.) 





If we may believe the Egyptian writers, Dionysius, who had for s.Dionysius. 
some time past performed the duties of the Episcopate, and who a.d. 247*" 
now succeeded to its possession^ had been brought up a Pagan, 
and was^ deeply skilled in astrology. It happened that the 
Epistles of S. Paul were one day lent to him by a poor woman 
who had embraced the True Faith j and a perusal of them in- 
duced him not only to purchase the volume, but to make in- 2on*^°^*'" 
quiry whether the Christians were in possession of other works 
that bore a similar character. The woman advised him to apply 
to the Priests of the Church ; and, on his complying with her 
ndvice, the books which they lent, and the instructions which 
they gave him, were made the means of his conversion. 

The new Bishop, a Sabaite by birth, that is,^ as appears pro- 
bable, an Arabian, was a man of good family,^ but an idolater. 
On his conversion he studied under Origen, for whom* he always 

1 Re&audot, p. 25, who seems, in 
the next page, by mistake to attribute 
this tradition to Heraclas. 

3 See Byaeus, § 28, Comm. Freev. in 
Vit S. Dionys. (October, Bolland. ii.) 
But the author of his life, prefixed to 
the beautifiil Propaganda edition of his 
Fragments,8trenaouslycontroTert8 this 
opinion, and affirms the aathor of the 
Chronicon Orientale to have meant 
nothing but Pagan by the term Sabaite. 

3 Ruinart. Act. Sine. pp. 179, 80, 
(ed. 2, which we always quote.) 

* It is said indeed that he had 
written a treatise against Origen, 
(Anadtasius, Qusest. sup. Genes. 25,) 
but this writer must confuse some 
other Dionysius with the Bishop of 
Alexandria. Baronius has fallen into 
the mistake of supposing the latter 
opposed to Origen: the contrary is 
shewn by Pagi, 246, iii. iv. ; Halloix, 
Grig. Def. i.22; and Huet, Origeniana, 
i. 3, 10. 

* There is a great difficulty with 
xespect to this date. Sollerius gives 
248 as the yeat of the accession of 
S. Dionysius: and to this end he 
Supposes with the Chronicon Orientale 
a vacancy of the Patriarchate for il 
year and some months. Byseus seems 
more probably to assert that S. Dio- 
nysius was consecrated in or about the 
February of a.d. 247 : — and deceased 
in that month, or the preceding, of 
A.D. 265. Thus he would have sat 
only seventeen years complete, as 
Eusebius, (H. E. vii. 28,) says, and 
would also have assumed the Episco- 
pate hi the third year of Philip, as 
Eusebius (H. E. vi. 35) also testifies ; 
which third year ended in March, 247. 
It is not probable, as Byeeus observes, 
that in a time of peace, as the refgif 
of Philip was, the See of Alexandria 
should have remained so long vacant 



love to 


retained a sincere attachment. At a later period^ he^ addressed 
to him, when suffering for the Faith of Christ, a consoli^tory 
treatise ; — ^thus repaying to him the same comfort that he had 
so often given to others. On the death . of Origen, Dionysius 
addressed an eulogy on his character to that Theoctistus,^ Bishop 
of Csesarea, whom we have abeady had occasion to notice. 

Dionysius was a man of universal learning ; and the first 6f 
those great Fathers by whom the throne of Alexandria was 
rendered so illustrious. As, like all the Masters of the Cate- 
chetical school, he had joined the study of philosophy to that of 
Theology, he was the means of bringing many Pagans to a 
knowledge of the Truth ; and he was particularly conversant 
with the writings of heretics, and had an inexhaustible treasure 
of arguments against their various perversions of the truth. 

" I was at considerable pains,^^ he says^ in an epistle to 
Philemon, " in reading the books and acquainting myself with 
the traditions of the heretics. I thus, for the moment, polluted 
my soul with their most vile devices ; but I obtained this advan- 
appUcaUon tagc from them, — ^the confuting them in my own mind, and the 
iMv^ty!! abominating them much more than I had previously done. 
There was a certain brother among the presbyters who was for 
hindering me from this practice ; and who feared that I should 
be contaminated^ with the same pollution of wickedness. My 
own mind, he said, would be injured; and I thought that he was* 
speaking the truth. A vision, however, sent from God, came 
and confirmed me ; and a word spoken to me expressly com- 
manded me thus : ^ Study every thing that shall come into thine 
hands ; for thou art capable of examining and proving all things ; 
and this habit of reading was, at the beginning, the occasion 
even of thy believing.^ I received the vision, as consonant with 
the apostoUc exhortation to them that have powerful minds, 
— Be ye wise^ bankers.^' 

1 Photius, Cod. ccxxzii.— This epistle 
is there said to be addressed to Theo- 
tecnus : but this Theoctistus must be 
meant* and not Theotecnusi who was 
his second successor. For Theoctistus 
survived Origen some time. Compare 
Le Quien, iii. 543 ; and Valesius on 
Eusebius, vii. 1. 

' Preserved by Eusebius, H.E. vii. 7. 

^ We read, in Valesius* s very elegant 
conjecture, avfi^pfaOM, Heinichen, 
however, retains trvfju^4p€<r9ai, the 
reading of all the MSS. ; which must 
tJien be taken in the sense of being 
carried away with, 

* These words are aflirmed by 
Origen, (in S. Joan. torn, x.) and 
after him by S. Jerome in his Epistle 


On his accession to the Episcopate^ he resigned the charge 
of the school into the hands of Clemens^ the second Master of 
that name. It would appear that^ before his consecration^^ 
Dionysius had been married. 

Philip is believed to have been a Christian^ at least in creed ; 
the means by which he attained the Empire shew him to 
have been entirely uninfluenced by the spirit of the True Faith. 
But the Church, with a single exception, enjoyed a profound 
repose during the whole of his reign ; — ^that single exception 
occurred in Alexandria. In the winter of a.d. 249, the popu- i^ p«^w- 

. cutlon at 

lace were excited against the Christians by a man, who united Aierandria : 
the professions of poet^ and soothsayer. The particulars of the 
persecution are preserved in an epistle written by Dionysius to 
Fabius^ of Antioch. 

Metras,^ an aged man, was the first victim. The populace Martyrdom 
seized him, and insisted on his blaspheming Christ ; on his ' 

refasal, they fell upon him with clubs, tore his face and eyes 
with sharp reeds, cast him out of Alexandria, and stoned him. 
A few days after they drew a woman named Quinta into a g. Qointa, 
temple, and on her refusing with horror to adore the idol which 

to MinerviuB and Alexander, to have 
been spoken by Christ : so too by 
S. Epiphanias, Heer. xlv. It is also 
quoted as from S. Paul. Other 
Fathers are quoted by Cotelerias, on 
the Apostolic Constitutions, ii. 36. 
Three opinions have been put forward 
on the subject : — The first is that of 
Usher, (Proleg. ad S. Ignat. Epp. cap. 
8,) Valesius, Huet, Salmasius, (de 
Foenore Trapez. 809,) and Fabridus, 
(Cod. Apoc. N. T. i. 330,) that the 
words in question are taken from the 
Apocryphal Gospel according to the 
Hebrews. The second, that of Suicer, 
Thes. Eccl. u. p. 12B3; with whom 
the modem German School of Critics, 
e. g, FauluB on S. Luke xiz. 23, 
appears to agree: that the sentence 
is adapted from the Farable of the 
Talents, or from 1 Thessalon. v. 21, 
or from a comparison of both passages. 
The third is that of Cdtelerius, that 
the. words were really those of the 

Saviour, and were handed down by 
tradition. — And this appears the most 
probable supposition. 

I Byseus, — (October, Bolland. ii. 
17.) — tries hard to evade the force of 
Tillemont's arguments, and with 
Yalesius, to prove the Bishop un- 
married. But the plain sense of the 
Patriarch's own expressions (Euseb. 
H. E. yL 40) seems to shew the con- 

3 'O Kcucw rp ir^Xci raurp iidvris Kal 
iroiirr^f , says S. Dionysius. We follow 
Yalesius in taking the words literally. 
Others, as Pearson in his Ann. Cyp. 
ccxlix. % 1 , understand the meaning to 
be, a doer of evil to this city in past 
times, and a kind of prophet as to 
those that were coming upon it under 

8 Euseb. H. E. vi. 41. 

< There was a church dedicated in 
his honour at Alexandria. — Ruinart, 
Act Sine. 124. 


it contained, they bound her by the feet> dragged her over the 
rough pavement of the city to the place where S. Metras had 
siuffered> and stoned her. This second martyrdom was the signal 
for a general attack on the Christians. Their houses were 
assaulted ; their goods thrown into the street and burnt ; them- 
selves insulted, and forced either to hide themselves or to leave 
the city. Dionysius escaped unharmed j and had to bewail the 
s. Apouonia apostacy of but one from his flock. S. Apollonia> who had 
devoted herseK to virginity, and had attained a great age, was 
seized by the Pagans, who, after brutally striking her on the 
face till her teeth fell out, threatened her with being burnt alive^ 
having Ughted a fire for the purpose, unless she would praise 
the gods. She appeared to hesitate, and the persecutors 
imagining themselves successful, loosed her ; but she only availed 
herself of freedom to shew her constancy and courage, by entering 
of her own accord the blazing pile. They then beset the house 
and s.sera. of Sctapiou, attacked him as he sat by his own hearth, tortured 
^^^' him in a fearful manner, and having broken all his bones, 

carried him to the roof of the house, and thence threw him into 
the street. No street nor lane could be passed in safety ; bands 
of infuriated Pagans paraded every public place, compelling 
those whom they met to blaspheme Christ, or burning their 
houses and torturing their persons. All these Martyrs are by 
the Western, as well as the Eastern Church, reckoned among 
the Saints. 
A.D. 349. This persecution seems to have lasted for nearly six months, 

and to have been put a stop to for a brief seasoii by the murder 
of Philip, at Verona. He was succeeded by Decius, elevated to 
the purple in Pannonia. Immediately on his accession, the 
Decian eighth persccutiou began ; it was more terrible than any, except- 
persccution: j^g ^hc last, and thc most successful of aU. For, in the interval 
of peace which the Church had enjoyed, faith and love had 
begun to wax cold ; worldliness and self-indulgence had crept in ; 
and this to such a degree, that some of the holier Bishops gave 
warning, while all was yet tranquil, of the storm about to burst 
forth, and which they saw to be necessary for the purification of 
the Church. 

The afjcount which Eusebius gives us of the sufierings of the 
Christians at Alexandria, is the inore valuable, as being extracted 
from the letters of Dionysius himself, fragments of which ai'e 


preserved both by that historian and by S. Jerome. They were 
addressed, when the Church had regained her tranquilHty, to 
Fabius, Patriarch of Antioch^ Didymus^ Domitius^ and others. 

On the first tidings of the persecution, the consternation in terror, 
Alexandria was dreadful. Some of those who had previously 
made a high profession, ran voluntarily to the altars, exclaiming 
that they had never been Christians, and sacrificing with 
alacrity ; others, urged on by their neighbours, came with pale 
countenances and trembling limbs, amidst the jeers and mockery and aposta- 
of the heathen, who evidently perceived them to be almost •»(»&. 
equally afraid of hving by sin, or dying in torments. Others 
confessed the name of Christ before the magistrate, were 
thrown into prison, and after a few days^ endurance, apostatized ; 
others, after resisting the torture for some time, yielded to it, and 
offered sacrifice. 

S. Dionysius gives us an account of what befel himself, pre- 
facing his statement with an appeal to God that his story is 
exactly true. The Edict for persecution had no sooner reached 
Alexandria, than Sabinus, Augustal Praefect, dispatched a ser- 
geant of potice in search of the Prelate. The Bishop remained 
quietly in his house ; while the party of soldiers sought him for 
four days, in every unlikely place, roads, rivers, and fields; 
but, by a divine infatuation, never thought of searching the 
Bishop^s own habitation. On the fifth day, Dionysius received 
a supernatural intimation to fly ; he was accompanied by his s. Dionysiua 
childroi and several of his priests. During his journey, he was 
made useful to some of his flock ; probably in confirming their 
minds, and alleviating their fears. 

At sunset, however, the Bishop^ fell into the hands of his 
persecutors ; and, it being then not more than five or six o'clock, 
was examined before the magistrates, and sentenced to exile at is ezUed, 
Taposiris. This was a httk city in Mareotis, about a day^s 
journey from Alexandria. A priest named Timothy, who is by 
some believed to have been the Bishop^s son, was absent when 
Dionysius left his house ; on returning there towards ev^ung, 
he found the place occupied by scddiera, and learnt that the 

^ The account of S. Dionysius is unraveling it, and we have followed 
involved in many difficulties. Bysuis, his hypothesis, 
cap. V. has taken great pains in 


Prelate had been sent to Taposiris. After hearing these tidings^ 
he took the road to Mareotis^ and the anguish that he felt was 
sufficiently displayed in his countenance. A countryman^ whom 
he met, inquired the cause of his agitation. On learning the 
misfortune that had befallen Dionysius, the man, then going to 
a nuptial feast, at that time carried on through the whole night, 
hastened to the house where the banquet was prepared, and 
stated the circumstance to the assembled guests. They arose as 
one man, laid hands on what they could find as instruments of 

Aud reMsoMi. defence, and assaulted the house where the Bishop was confined. 
The guard took them for banditti, and dispersed. Dionysius, 
who had retired to rest, was at first under the same mistake, 
and pointing to his clothes, bade them take all he had, and 
begone. When he discovered their real design, and perceived 
that they were bent on his liberation, he refused to stir; and 
besought them, if they were really willing to do him a service, 
to rid his guards of any further trouble, by cutting off his head. 
It was in vain that they prayed and conjured him to have pity, 
if not on his own life, at least on the state of his Church ; he 
remained inflexible. They at length had recourse to actual 
violence; and raising him forcibly from his bed, carried him 
off. All those who had been with him followed; he made 
choice of two only, Peter and Caius, to be his companions, and 
with them retired into the desert till the violence of the perse- 
cution should have exhaused itself. 

M^yrdom In the meantime its fury was unabated. Julian,^ an aged 
Christian, an inhabitant of Alexandria, was summoned to the 
tribunal. He was so much tormented by the gout, as to be 
unable to walk without the support of two assistants, and lean- 
ing on their shoulders he appeared before the judge. One of 
them, at the first sight of the terrible preparations, lost courage, 

s. cronion, and apostatiscd ; the other, whose name was Cronion, but who 
was sumamed Eunus, together with Julian, witnessed a good 
confession. They were bound on camels, scourged through the 
whole extent of the city, and burnt ahve without the gate. As 
they were passing to the pile, amidst the insults of the populace, a 

8. Besas, soldier named Besas protected them to the utmost of his ability ; 

* Euseb. vi. 41. — There was also a cation of this martyr, which was re- 
church at Alexandria, under the invo- stored by S. Enlogius. Ruinart, 126. 


and the rabble^ enraged^ cried out that he deserved the same 
fate. He was taken before the judge; confessed himself a 
Christian^ and was beheaded. It does not appear that he re- 
ceived the Sacrament of Baptism ; supplied to him^ in this case, 
according to the belief of the early Church, by the Baptism of 
Blood whereof he was counted worthy. Macar, a Libyan, aad s. Mac»r, 
worthy, says S. Dionysius, of his name (which signifies blessed), 
was burnt aUve. By the same means Epimachus and Alexander, 
after enduring a tedious imprisonment, the torture of the iron 
hooks, and scourging, were called to receive their crown. 
Dionysia, the mother of several children, was among the Mar- s. DionyBia, 
tyrs ; Ammonarium, a virgin, having declared her resolution, at 
the commencement of her examination, not to utter a word, was 
tormented long and cruelly, but without flinching from her 
determination. Mercuria also, and another Ammonarium, wit- and otbers. 
nessed a good confession. The judge, mortified to be thus 
baffled by women, contented himself with causing the other 
prisoners of the same sex to be beheaded. Heron, Ater, and 
Isidorus, died eloriously for the Name of Christ. Dioscorus. confeMion 

° •' . ' of S. Dio«- 

a youth of fifteen years old, was brought before the magistrate «>"»• 
in company with these elder Christians. Thinking that his 
tender age would make life the sweeter, and death the bitterer, 
the judge addressed him kindly; failing in this, he tried 
torture with as httle efiect ; he then caused the three others 
to be tormented and finally burnt; and afterwards renewed 
his ofiers to Dioscorus, hoping that the sight of the suflfer- 
ings of his friends might overcome his obstinacy. At length 
he ordered him to be set at liberty, giving him time, he said, 
to reconsider the subject; aad the youth retired to Diony- 
sius in the wilderness. Nemesion was at first accused of 
robbery ; having repelled that charge, he was denounced as a 
Christian ; tortured twice as much as the robbers with whom he 
was tried; and finally burnt with them. A short time after- 
wards four soldiers, and another Christian, came before the 
prarfect ; a prisoner was at that moment undergoing the torture, 
and his resolution was evidently failing. Advancing to a spot 
where he could see them, the soldiers made signs to the sufferer 
to hold out but for a few monents longer, and so secure his 
reward. The bystanders regarded them with astonishment; 


but before any accusation was brought against them^ they volun- 
tarily came forward^ and professed themselves Christians. 
Wearied out with cruelty, and terrified at the wide spread of 
Christianity, the pnefect ordered them to immediate execution ; 
and they w^e hurried to it, exhibiting tokens of the liveliest 
confenors ^^^ thosc who BufPered at Alexandria were by no means the 
In EgTpt. ^iiQjg Qf the Egyptian believers who laid down their lives for 
the Faith. Many were torn in pieces by popular violence in the 
other cities ; many fled to the mountains, and there perished 
with hunger and thirst, cold and weariness ; many fell into the 
bands of the Arabians, and were reduced to slavery; many 
made their escape, but were never afterwards heard ot. Among 
the last was Chseremon, Bishop of NilopoUs, with his wife. 
Some, who were overtaken by the soldiers sent in pursuit, 
bribed the officer to liberate them. Ischyrion, who was the 
d^uty of a magistrate, was commanded by him to sacrifice to 
idols. He refused ; and after suffering, in the first instance, 
r^roaehes, in the next, ill-treatment, was thrust through by his 
master with a stake. 

Dionysius, after giving Fabius the above account, refers to 
those who had fallen away in time ot persecution. " Those god- 
like Martyrs,'' he says, ^^ now the assessors of Christ, and the 
partners of His Kingdom, the sharers ot. His Judgment, and to 
be fellow-judges vdth Him, while they were on earth, received 
some of Iheir brethren who had lapsed and were guilty of 
having sacrificed to idols, and beholding their conversion and 
penitence, and behevmg that it was acceptable to Him, Who 
willeth rather the repentance than the death of a sinner, ad- 
mitted them to their communion. What then, my brethren, 
do ye advise with respect to such ? What are we to do ? Shall 
we shew ourselves to be of the same opinion with the Martyrs, 
and uphold a matter decided, or rather a grace conferred by 
them, and have mercy on those that were pitied by them ; or 
shall we render their decision null and void, and make our- 
selves judges (rf their sentence, and grieve their kindness, 
a»d overthrow appointed order, and offend God ?'' We shall 
pvesently see the importance of the inquiry. 

In the meantime> Alexandria was not deserted. The Priests 


Maximus^ Dioscorus^ Demetrius, and Lucius, are mentioned by 
Bionysius^ as having been particularly active in the city ; Faus- 
tinus and Aquila in the country. Of the Deacons, Faustus, 
Ch«remon, and more especially Eusebius, signalised and en- 
dangered themsdves by their zeal in visiting the prisoners, and' 
in burying the dead. 

It was while he was in the desert of Libya that Dionysius s. Dionysiuii 
addressed his exhortation on Martyrdom to Origen, who was origen on 
now imprisoned, had already suffered on the rack, and was ■■'^^*'*^"' 
threatened with death by fire. Of this work, considerable 
fragments remain.^ It commences by a statement^ of the brevity 
of all earthly sufferings ; it proceeds to set forth that God, 
to Whom^ only all wisdom belongs, appoints the measure and 
the term of our a£9ictions ; that though His ways are above our 
thoughts, yet, with Job, we^ shall finally acknowledge them to 
have been just ; that by trial only can we obtain an insight into 
the devices of Satan ; that it was from want of such experience 
that Eve fell so irreparably ; thaJb the ^iduring hardness is the 
one way by which we become good soldiera of Jesus Christ ,*^ 
that oar Lord Himsdf has 1^ us on trample, not of apathy to 
pain, but of resignation under it, not of praying that the Cup 
might never come, but that having come it might pass ; that ia 
His Agony we are to look for oiir best consolation in our own; 
that we are to deal with our enemies in all gentleness and meek*^ 
ness, even aa He^ dealt with Judas ; — ^and here the fragment 
abruptly terminates. — 

^ In his Epistle to Domitins and 
Didymnft. — Thia Epistle is considered 
by Eusebios (H. E. Tii. )1) to refer to 
the Persecution under Valerian ; and 
Baronius follows him. But Valesius 
contends, and Byniis, in a section 
devoted to the consideration oi the 
subject, seems to have proved^ that the 
historian is mistaken, and that it refers 
to the time of Decius. 

' For these we are indebted to 
Nicetaa Serronensis, who in his Col- 
lection of Commentaries by the Fathers 
on S. John and S. Luke, gives them 
under the title of Dionysius to Origen. 

Now no other work» addressed to 
Origen, has been ascribed toDionysixis, 
except that on Martyrdom ; and the 
whole of what remains is Tery suitable 
to such a treatise. Though, had we 
only been informed that the fragments 
were the composition of Dionysius^ 
we should rather have referred them 
to his work on Temptations to 

^ Cap. i. (Ed. PropagandEu) 

< Cap. iii. 

* Cap. V. 

* Cap. vii. 
7 Cap. xi. 


s. Pftoi There was one sufferer in this persecution^ whom Dionysius 

the wuder. does not mention, and of whose name, afterwards to become so 
illustrious, he was probably ignorant. This was S. Paul, the first 
hermit.^ He was a native of the Lower Thebais, and was left 
an orphan at the age of fifteen. His property was considerable, 
and paitis had been taken with his education. Finding himself 
at liberty to fix the place of his abode, he became an inmate in 
the family of a married sister, with whom he lived till the Decian 
persecution. To avoid its fury, he retired to a country house 
belonging to his brother-in-law ; and there learnt that the latter 
intended to inform against him, for the sake of gaining his 
property. The young man was thus compelled to retire into 
the desert ; and he soon acquired a love for the loneliness of 
his retreat. He frequently changed his dwelling, advancing by 
degrees into the wildest depths of the wilderness. At length 
he discovered a spot so well adapted for the life he proposed to 
lead, that he fixed on it as the final place of his abode. It was 
a cavern, the mouth of which was shaded by a palm ; a fountain 
burst forth from the side of the hill, and entered the earth 
again JEit no great distance. The leaves of this tree afforded 
him his garments, and its dates his sustenance until a better 
method of subsistence was provided for him. He was twenty- 
two years old when he retired into the cave ; and here he dwelt 
for ninety years. 

A D S61. '^^ ^®^* transaction in which S. Dionysius was engaged 

affords a remarkable instance of the immense power tacitly 
claimed by, and unhesitatingly ceded to, the See of Alexandria 
in these early ages. The Chair of Rome was vacant, S. Fabian 
having received the Crown of Martyrdom on the 20th of 
January, a.d. 250. Such was the fury of the persecution that 
the Koman clergy, of whom there were then forty-six Priests and 
seven Deacons, found it impossible to proceed to another elec- 
tion ; for Decius, says S. Cyprian, would sooner have allowed a 
competitor in his Throne than a Bishop in his metropolis. 

Early life of There was at that time in Rome a priest named Novatian, 
originally a Stoic philosopher, then possessed by a Demon, after 
that baptised in illness, and never subsequently confirmed : he 
had been raised to his Sacerdotal rank in double violation of the 

^ S. Hieronym. Tit S. Paul. § 4. 


Canons ; for clinic Baptism and the not having received ^^ the 
LoRD^s Seal^' were each a bar against Holy Orders. He^ how- 
ever^ entertained the idea of raising himself to the highest 
station in the Church ; and was confirmed in his design by the 
arrival of Novatus^ a man of bad character^ a Bishop^ or Priest 
of Africa^ who was compelled^ by the fear of punishment, to 
leave Carthage. Every effort was employed by the two adven- 
turers to raise Novatian to the vacant Chair, but in vain ; for in Sf^^Jhiiir S 
the month of June, a.d. 251, Comehus was, by the unanimous ^m«'- 
consent of clerjgy and people, elected Bishop of Rome. 

The confederates, aware that they had every thing to fear from 
the resolute character of the new Pontiff, determined to use 
their utmost endeavours to procure his deposition. Novatus had, 
at Carthage, charged S. Cyprian with too great harshness in re- 
admitting to the Communion of the Church those who had lapsed 
during the persecution; but he now united with Novatian in attack- P^JS^n?"" 
ing Cornelius on precisely opposite grounds. Novatian attracted s.corneiioa : 
to his party several of those who had distinguished themselves as S)£J"(rf the 
confessors during the Decian persecution ; and to invest his cause confessors, 
with the fairer colours, he denied on oath that he had any inten- 
tion of aspiring to that Bishopric which ought, he contended, 
from the crimes of its present occupier, to be declared vacant. 

The dispute became serious; and Dionysius, who had, as 
he afterwards gave proof, deeply considered the subject of 
the reconciliation of apostates, thought fit to interfere. He to whom 
addressed two letters^ on the point in question ; one to the Writes"'^* ^ 

1 Boronios believes NovatuB to have non-appearance of Novatus as one of 

been a Bishop, because S. Cyprian the consecrators of Novatian by sup. 

says, (Ep. xllz. Ed. Pamel.) qui posing him unwilling to put himself 

FeUcissimum satellitem suum diaco- forward on the occasion, from a belief 

nimi constituit. (254, lix.) And that the ends of his schism would be 

eerttinly the plain sense of these words best secured by his keeping in the 

implies that he was possessed of back ground j or by referring to the 

Episcopal authority. But Pagius, inquiry that might thereby have been 

(250, zv.) followed by the greater part occasioned as to the crimes that had 

of modem Ecclesiastical historians, driven him from Carthage, 

assumes him to have been a Priest, ^ Euseb. H. E. vi. 46, ad fin.--« 

because he did not assist in the con- Byeeus, by a comparison of the account 

secration of his friend Novatian. They given of these letters with the Epistles 

explain the passage in S. Cyprian as of S. Cyprian, which we have, seems 

meaning that Novatus procured the satisfactorily to have shewn that they 

ordination of Felicissimus. But it were written before the consecration 

were surely equally easy to explain the of Novatian. 



his tenets. 

faithful at Borne in general, dwelling on the virtue of peni- 
tence, as e£fecting a re-admission into the Church even for 
apostates, and exhorting all parties concerned to peace and 
brotherly love ; — ^the other more particularly to the Confessors. 
These letters appear to have been written towards the beginning 
of August. 

In order to have a firmer ground on which to act, Novatian 
sent some of his disciples to three country Bishops, in a comer 
of Italy, informing them that urgent business required their 
presence in Borne. When they were come, he invited them to 
a banquet, where he made them eat and drink to excess; 
and while in this condition, at the uncanonical hour of four 
in the afternoon, they laid their hands on him, and conse- 
crated him Bishop. One of these unhappy men afterwards con- 
fessed his fault, and was received by S. Cornelius to lay- 
communion ; the two others remained impenitent ; but all three 
were deposed. 

The principal tenet of Novatian was the following : that those 
who had once fallen in time of persecution, could never be received 
into communion, whatever penance they might perform j that 
the Church had no power of forgiving such, and could only 
leave them to the infinite mercy of God. The judgment of the 
Catholic Church has ever been more ihvourable. 

At this time, there was no general rule by which the reception 
of the lapsed was regulated. In the vacancy of the See, the 
Boman clergy, meeting in coimcil, had decreed that those 
who, after expressing their penitaice, were seized with mortal 
illness, should be allowed to receive the Holy Eucharist. For 
other cases, they decided nothing. S. Cyprian followed in the 
Alexandria, same coursc. That of 8. Dionysius was milder. ^' I had given 
directions,^^ he writes to Fabius, '^ that communion should be 
allowed to the dying, if they desired it, more especially if, pre- 
viously to their last illness, they had requested it.^^ Whereas, 
according to the Boman and Carthagioian rule, if the dying 
man had during health exhibited no signs of repentance, he 
was to be debarred from receiving the Viaticum. The rule of 
S. Gregory Nyssen, a hundred and forty years later, may be 
taken as a specimen of a penitential more than ordinarily strict. 
For voluntary apostacy, the guilty person was to continue for 

Roles as to 
the recep- 
tion of the 
lapsed in 



the whole course of his life among the penit^its ; but even such 
an one was to Feceive the Viaticum on his death-bed ; and S. 
Basil adds^ in his penitential canons^ that the communion 
should be given with confidence in the compassion of Oob. 
But for apostacy occasioned by the fear of deaths or the iniSiction 
of torments^ S. Gregory appoints only, nine years^ penaiice; and 
it was this species of denial of the Faith to which the schism of 
Novatian principally referred. The iollowers of this schismatic 
took the name of Cathari or Puritans. 

Novatian^ immediately affcer his consecration^ wrote letters, Noyatiaa 
as the custom was^ to the principal Churches, giving them notice the Great 
of his election, and pretending to have been ordained in spite of 
his opposition. These epistles created, in many places, great 
confusion. The cause of Novatian, at first sight, appeared fair, 
as shewing zeal for the preservation of the Churches purity ; 
and the names of those who had signed the letters carried great 
weight with them; since many were known to have been Con- 
fe8s<»rs at Bom^ for the Faith, and men, therefiMre, not to be 
suspected of countenancing schism. 

Cornelius, for his peurt, was not idle. But the missives of the 
two rivals were attended with different effects in the two great 
Eastern Sees. Fabius, then Bishop of Antioch, was inclined to 
the party of Novatian ; Dionysius, on the contrary, replied to 
the letter of the schismatic in the following terms : 

'^ionysius^ to his broths Novatian, greeting. SSswered b 

" K you have been compelled, against your will, [to assume s-monysias. 
the Episcopate] you will prove the truth of your account by 
retiring from it spontaneously. It were better to suffer all 
things, of what kind soever, than to ciut in sunder the Chuix^h 
of God. And the martyrdom suffered for the sake of avoiding 
a sdiism were not less gl(»rious than that endured fc»: refusing 
to sacrifice to idols. Nay, in my judgment, it would be n;u)re 
illustrious; in the one case it is borne for the sake of the 
Martyr's own soul, in the other, for that of the whote Church. 

1 Eiueb. H. £. vi. 45. — fioflehUis, Rufiniu, by way of ijoaproving the 

who confuses NoTBtus and Novatiaui error, adds, Hsec eadem etiam Nova- 

(ae aU the Eastern writers, except; tiano scripsiti — which is manifestly 

S. Dionysius, appear to have done,) aibsurd. 
^▼es this letter to the former ; and 

E 2 


And if, even now, you can persuade or compel your bretliren to 
return to concord, your well-doing will be greater than your 
fault. The latter will not be laid to your charge : the former 
will be spoken of to your honour. If you have no influence 
over them, and they refuse to obey, save at least your own soul, 
I pray that you may hold fast the peace that is in the Lord, 
and so bid you farewell.^' 

This letter, which was highly celebrated at the time,^ and for 
many years afterwards, produced no effect on the arch-schismatic ; 
for he continued in his separation till his death. His schism 
had already begun to assume the character of a heresy, by his 
denial of the Power of the Keys in the case of apostacy ; and he 
afterwards rendered it still more heterodox by extending that 
denial to the crimes of murder and fornication, and by con- 
demning second marriages. 

The letter of Dionysius to Novatian was written, it would 
seem, towards the end of August ; and, in that or the ensuing 
month, he received an Epistle from the Roman Confessors, 
Ion ^m" '^^w^i^g ^^^^ error, and mentioning their return to the Church. 
The Council of Carthage, under S. Cyprian, had already decreed 
that Apostates were to be received on performing penance; 
though, if in Holy Orders, merely to lay-communion : its 
Canons were confirmed by Cornelius and sixty Bishops in the 
Ronuj? ^ Coimcil of Rome, where Novatian, persisting in his error, was 
A.D.261. condemned. He, for his part, dispatched Novatus into Africa, 
to sustain his falling party; and the absence of this man, the 
originator of the schism, combined with the letters of S. 
Dionysius and S. Cyprian, and probably the treatise of the 
latter on the Unity of the Church, occasioned the return of 
the Confessors. The Bishop of Alexandria, in the September 
of the same year, addressed two letters of congratulation to 
them on the subject. 

It is plain that the Church of Rome had been in great danger 
of suffering a long schism. The personal authority of S. Cor- 
nelius was not sufficient to carry him through the trouble by 
which he was surrounded : the influence of the Confessors who 

1 S Jerome, for instance, quotes it, onsly abstains from giving Novatian 
in his work on iUustrions men. It the title of Bishop ; though we find it 
may be observed that the Saint studi- added in the translation of S. Jerome. 



were leagued against him was great ; the terrors of the perse- 

cution depressed the Faithful externally as much as their own 

internal dissensions weakened them^ and had it not been for the 

exertions and weight of character of Dionysius and Cyprian, 

the consequences to the Church might have been most pernicious. 

But, though Italy was now quiet, Novatianism was in danger of ®J[*^|J^ 

pervading the East. We have already mentioned that Fabiusin^*"^*- 

was favourably disposed to it ; and to him Dionysius addressed 

the letter on the Decian persecution, to which we are indebted 

for our knowledge of its effects in Egypt, and subjoined* the 

history of Serapion,^ as a manifest proof that God approved of 

the administration of the Holy Communion to dying penitents, 

even though they had been guilty of the crime of apostacy. 

He also addressed his own Dioecese on the same subject ; and opSjS?^?* 

divided the penitents into different ranks, according to their 

various degrees of guilt. To Conon, Bishop of HermopoUs* 

Magna, he sent a letter on the same subject; his soUci- 

tude extended itself even as far as Armenia, and he wrote 

to Meruzanes,^ MetropoUtan of Sebaste, who appears to have 

been inclined to Novatian errors ; as also to Thelymidres,* then 

Bishop of Laodicea. The heresy appearing to make some 

^ Serapion was an inhabitant of 
Alexandria, who had passed a long 
life in the practice of pietv. In the 
persecution he was oveircome by 
torments, and denied the faith. 
When the storm had passed, he was 
received to penitence, though refused 
Communion. He fell iU, and re- 
mained three days without the power 
of speech ; on the fourth, recovering 
for a few moments the use of his 
voice, he requested to receive the 
Eucharist, and relapsed. The boy 
who waited on him ran to the Priest. 
It was night, and the Priest, through 
illness, was unable to come. Break- 
ing off a fragment of the consecrated 
Bread, he gave it to the messenger, 
with directions, after soaking it, to 
place it in the mouth of Serapion. 
The old man was awaiting the return 
of the boy ; and as soon as he heard 

his step, he cried out that he knew the 
Priest was unable to come : " but act,*' 
he continued, ** as he gave directions, 
and set me free.*' The child did as 
he had been commanded, and Serapion 
gave up the ghost. S. Dionysius 
infers from this event, that Providence 
had evidently retained the old man 
in life, till he could receive the 
Eucharist; and thereby testified ap- 
probation of the conduct of those who 
allowed the Communion to apostates 
on their death-beds. 

3 Eusebius only says Hermopolis; 
but from Severus, who was, as we 
shaU often have ocasion to observe, 
Jacobite Bishop of the same See, 
we learn that Conon was Bishop of 
Aschumin, i, e., Hermopolis Magna, 
Renaudot, p. 86. 

3 See Le Quien i. 419. 

4 LeQuienii. 791. 



to it: 

progress at Alexandria, Dionyuas addressed to his own flock 
a most elaborate letter^^ whicli appears to have been successfttl 
in preventing the perversion of the fidthfoL 

Fabius^ however^ was not convinced by the epistle which he 
had received firom Dionysins; nor yet by four or five written to 
him by S. Cornelias of Rome. And the' persecution lulling for 
a short time on the death of Decius^ and succession of Gallus^ 
he took the opportunity of convoking a Council at Antioch to 
consider and to decide the question. To this Dionysius was 
summoned by several Prelates, among whom were the celebrated 
Firmilian, and Theoctistus of Ciesarea, whom it is pleasant thus 
to find in firiendly communication with the See of Alexandria. 
But the same messenger that brought the summons, brought 
also the tidings of the decease of Fabius, and the accession of 
s. uonrBias Dcmetrian. On the eve of going to Antioch, Dionysius informed 

Kocs thither. •■ • 

Cornelius^ of these events ; and, t<^ther with this letter,^ he 

dispatched one of brotherly communion to the Church of Rome. 

coonenof Xlie Council was held imder the presidency, it seems,, of the 

Aj). SM. ne^ Bishop of Antioch^ ; and after the reading of the letter in 

1 *fivitfTpf«riJc4.— EoMib. H. £• tL 
46. — ^The earlier oommentators trans- 
late it hortatory ; and so Flenry ii. 
260, ime exkortatUm a son tronpean 
d' Alexandria. Yalesiiis interprets it, 
oi^rgaiory. We follow Heinichen, 
(in Enseb. H. £. iY. 28,) Danz. (de 
Enseb. p. 100) and Snicer, (L 1194) 
in taking it to mean Idbowrtd ; and so 
S. Cyril (in Hos. cap. U) nses 

3 Euaeb. H. E. vi. 46. 

> SMucome^.— The sense is not cer- 
tain. Goar, in his notes on George 
Syncellos, takes it to have been an 
epistle of the same kind as those called 
9jfnodie(B, dimUtorue, and the like. 
Yalesins and Stroth make it to refer to 
things connected with the Piaconate ; 
and Dans applies it to Nicostratns the 
Roman Deacon or Confessor, and one 
of the obstinate followers of Novatos. 

* BjmoM (October Bdland. ii. 34,) 
here seems to make a difficulty where 

there is none. Boachins the Bolland- 
ist (Jolios It. Dissert de Pat. 
Antioch. § 86) thinks that Demetrian 
merely held the ConncQ summoned 
by his predecessor. Byieus tries to 
proTC that that Council was never held 
at aU, and that the real Council was 
not held till a.d. 256. In the letter 
of S. Dionysius to S. Stephen of 
Rome, (Enseb. H. E. viL 5) he speaks 
of the East as then at peace from the 
schism of Novatian. Now this letter 
was written in a..d. 256 at the earliest ; 
therefore, according to Byseus, it fol- 
lows that the Coun<nl could not have 
met long before. But this is by no 
means a necessary consequence. If 
(Ecumenical Councils have been so 
long resisted before they were received 
and acknowledged, much rather might 
a provincial Synod, like that of 
Antioch, fail in at once effecting that 
order which it subsequently estab- 


whicli Pope Cornelius explained the history of NoYatian, and 
the Acts of the Council of Bome^ the schismatic was condemned 
as favouring sin, by rendering repentance unavailing. 

It must have been either during his absence from, or 
immediately after his return to, Egypt, that Dionysius heard of 
the decease of Origen, who, worn out with years and labours, Death of 
was called, as it is not unreasonable to hope, to receive the 
forgiveness of his errors, and the reward of his sufferings. 
The Church of Alexandria, as it is plain from the treatise 
addressed to him by her Bishop, had long ceased to regard him 
as excommunicate. 



That, on his return from Antioch, Dionysius visited Alexan- 
dria, it seems natural to conclude ; though we have no certain 
evidence of the fact. It was at the same time that the great na^ae at 
pestUence, which lasted, with intermissions, fifte^i years, and of a.d. 26s. 
which we shall have further occasion to speak, spread firom 
Ethiopia into Egypt, and thence over a large portion of the 
Roman Empire. 

It does not appear that the persecution of Grallus extended ^i^*^?*"* 
into Egypt ; and the afflicted Church of Alexandria had time to JJg^^* 
breathe. Dionysius, in visiting his Dioecese, had arrived at 
Arsinoe,* when he found that city and the surrounding villages JjJuioe in- 
under the influence of an opinion which threatened, if notj^^^ 
checked in time, to degenerate into heresy. A belief had*"°"' 
existed, from the earliest ages of the Church, and had num- 
bered among its adherents Cerinthus and Fapias, that, after 
the General Resurrection, Chbist would personally reign on 
earth ; that for the space of a thousand years His Saints, under 
that dominion, would enjoy all corporal, as well as spiritual 


1 See TUlemont, M. E. iv. 85. absolute certainty. See S. Dionysiof, 

s EoBeb. H. E. viL 34, 25. Ed. Propaganda, p. 312: and Lumper, 

* This date cannot be fixed with Historia Theol.-Crit. ziii. 67. 


delights ; — and that in this sense the predictions and descrip- 
tions of the A^pocalypse were to be understood. Nepos^ a Bishop 
oritiDaiiy of Arsinoe^^ had adopted these tenets; and as his character 
by^Neposf^ both for learning and holiness stood justly high^ his teaching 
was received with avidity^ and a party speedily formed itself in 
his favour. The Millenarians^ or Chiliasts^ however, were not 
unopposed j and to support his views, Nepos composed a work 
which his followers regarded as an impregnable bulwark of his 
doctrine. As his opponents insisted that the Apocalypse, in 
those portions which he brought forward, was to be understood 
in a typical sense only, he entitled his treatise, A Confutation 
of Allegorists. The arguments were ingenious, the language 
persuasive ; and it is not wonderful that the essay should have 
been considered unanswerable. 

Nepos, however, had before the period of which we write 
been taken from the world, leaving behind him the reputation 
of a faithful, laborious^ and learned prelate ; and endeared to 
his flock by the many hymns that he had composed for their 
use.^ After his death, those who held his sentiments began to 
defMded b B^P*^**® thcmsclves from the communion of others ; and, led on 
coradon: jjy Q^g Coraciou, to dcnouucc the rest of the faithful as 

S. Dionysius^ whose account of the transaction is preserved 
to us by Eusebius, on his arrival at Arsinoe, caUed together the 
Priests and Deacons of that city and of the neighbomung villages, 
and, in general, such of the faithfiil as chose to attend, and 
« confer!'*' proposcd that the matter should be quietly and candidly discussed, 
and the treatise of Nepos more particularly examined. For Nepos 
himself he professed to entertain the highest respect ; both for his 
piety and his talents^ and, more especially^ he added, since he 
had already fallen asleep. It was unanimously agreed that his 
advice should be followed ; and for three days continuously, from 
morning till evening, the good Patriarch sat in the midst of the 

1 At least this appears, as Le Quien turns it : urn der vielen von ihm 

(it 581, 2) observes, most probable; gedichteien Ueder; not tfs Yalesius^ 

thoagh the name of the See of Nepos ob Psalmorum multipUces cttntut, 

u nowhere gi^on. because S. Dionysius proceeds, •* with 

^ This is undoubtedly the meaning which even now many of the brethren 

of T^j iroWris rpaXfjmHas:—M Stroth are delighted." 



Priests, reading and commenting on the work of the deceased ^^^IT****" 
Prelate, receiving and replying to objections, giving to afl**^""****' 
arguments their due consideration, and modifying his own opi- 
nions, or confessing himself to be wrong, if his opponents seemed 
to have truth, in any matter, on their side. He relates that he 
admired the moderation, intelligence, and docihty of his auditors ; 
their unfeigned anxiety to attain the truth, and the order and 
propriety which they observed during the whole discussion. 
At the end of the three days, Coracion declared himself con- 
vinced ; and promised that he never more by writing or word of the Muie- 

./ c nailMis own 

mouth would uphold the doctrine of Nepos. Thus, by the truly their error: 
evangelical conduct of this great Prelate, the schism was nipped 
in the bud. 

The Patriarch, however, thought fit to confute it in writing, 
as he had already done in conversation ; the rather, that the 
Treatise against Allegorists had been dispersed through many 
parts of Egypt. This gave rise to his Treatise on the Promises, Jj^orkon* ^^ 
in which he relates the circumstances that we have just ^""^^••^ • 

In treating of the Apocalypse, as the only portion of Scripture 
on which Nepos had founded his hypothesis, the writer^s sin- 
gular reverence and modesty may weU account for the equally 
rare and happy result of the Arsinoitan Conference. He was 
evidently inclined to believe the authority of the Book of Reve- 
lation doubtful. ^^But,^^ says he, "I should not venture to 
reject it, when so many of our brethren highly esteem it. I 
beUeve that it is above the capacity of my intellect, and consider 
that it contains a certain hidden and marvellous explanation of 
all things that it sets forth. Por though I understand it not, 
yet I suspect that there lies in it a sense deeper than words ; I j^gplJitton 
measure it not, and judge it not, by my own reason ; but allow- 5fpS«iyi«e -, 
ing faith more room, am of opinion that its contents are too 
lofty for my comprehension. I condemn not that which I 
cannot understand; I rather admire it the more, because I 
cannot fathom it." 

He then enters into an examination of the book, which we 
no longer possess ; and having shewn that it cannot possibly be 
-understood in the literal sense, he proceeds to argue, that though 
composed by an inspired writer, it had not S. John the Evan- 



bat denies 
that it was 
S. John. 

in a Provin- 
cial Ckmndl. 

gelist for its author. His principal proof is drawn from the 
fact that^ while the Eyangehst shrinks^ in his Grospel^ from 
naming himself^ and in his three epistles designates himself 
only from his character;, or not at all; the writer of the Apoca- 
lypse seems to bring his name forward^ on every occasion where 
the subject allows him to do so.^ " He sent and signified it by 
His Angel to His servant John'' j — " John^ to the seven Churches 
which are in Asia'^; — " I John^ who am your brother and com- 
panion in labour''^ : ^^I John saw these things and heard them/'^ 
From the various phrases employed^ in the Gospel and the Apo- 
calypse, and their different degrees of grammatical correctness, 
he arrives at the same conclusion. 

There appears no reason to beUeve^ that Dionysius found it 
necessary to summon a Council on the subject of Millenarian 
errors ; — and that a Provincial Synod^ condemned and deposed 
Nepos; after his deaths which has been asserted by some writers^ 
is evidently a ffiible. 

We now enter on the consideration of a more important con- 
troversy; and shaU find the conduct of S. Dionysius marked^ 
during its course^ with the same moderation and love of peace 
that had distinguished him at Arsinoe. 




of heretics 
ordered by 
and the 
Coancil of 
circ. A.O. 

It will be proper, though by so doing we a little deviate 
from the strict order of time, to give a concise and uninterrupted 
view of the unhappy division that arose on the question of 
reiterated Baptism : — and of the share that Dionysius took in 
its discussion. 

Agrippinus, Bishop of Carthage, had in a synod of African 
Bishops decreed, in violation of Apostolic tradition, that Bap- 
tism could not be validly conferred by those who were out of 

1 Apocal. i. 2. 
' Apocal. i. 4. 
* Apocal. i. 9. 

* Apocal. xxii. 8. 

* Labb^, Cone. i.'832. 


the pale of the Catholic Church ; that heretical Baptism was^ 
consequently^ null and void ; — and that such as had received 
none other should^ on entering the Churchy be re-baptized. 
More than fifty years afterwords^ this question was again mooted 
in Africa ; and eighteen Bishops of Numidia^ uncertain as to 
their proper duty^ consulted S. Cyprian^ who then occupied the i»7S.C]rprian 
Chair of Carthage. That Father happened at the time when (a.d. 266;) 
their letter arrived^ to be holding a Council^ which was attended 
by thirty-one Prelates ; and they^ in a synodical epistle^ replied 
to the inquiry of their brethren. The tradition of the African 
Churchy they said^ was to be observed; the Council of Agrip- 
pinus had decided the matter. S. Cyprian replied in a similar 
strain to the same question^ after the dissolution of the Council ; 
but without entirely satisfying the doubts that had arisen in 
his province. 

He therefore judged it expedient to summon another and (S^^aifl,* 
more numerous Synod of the Bishops of Africa and Numidia; SSerj) 
and seventy-one Prelates assembled at Carthage in the early 
part of A.D. 256. The decrees of the former Council were con- 
firmed in this; and a synodical epistle was addressed to S. 
Stephen of Bome^ informing him of the decision of the 
African Churchy and requesting his confirmation of their Acts. 
Stephen^ though afterwards a glorious Martyr, was evidently 
a man of hasty temper ; and he replied by an angry letter, in 
which, not content with exposing the fault of receding from an 
Apostolic tradition, he threatened the African Bishops with 
excommunication, if they persisted in their sentiments. 

S. Cyprian, undaunted by the reception of this epistle, con- and third 
voked a third Council on the same subject ; and used his utmost September i, 
endeavours that it should be as numerously attended as was 
possible. Eighty-five Bishops were present ; and the decision 
of Agrippinus was a third time confirmed as well by their own 
subscriptions, as by that of two absent brethren, whose proxies 
were given to the Synod. The Acts of this Council were 
dispatched to Rome under the care of some of the Fathers. 
But Stephen refused to see the messengers ; he forbade the Raptare 
faithful <rf Italy to shew them any hospitality ; and com- s. st^^. 

* See Pearson, Annal. Cypr. for the verification of this date. 



manded them to return without loss of time to Africa^ and to 
inform their brethren that, unless they acknowledged their 
error, he should proceed to the threatened excommunication. 

S. Cyprian, finding that the African Church was unable to 
carry its point, looked round him for assistance. He knew that 
his opinion was prevalent in the East; that the Councils of 
Iconium and Synnada, holden in or about the year 230, had 
ordered iteration of Baptism ; and that some of the most eminent 
s. Cyprian amonff the Oriental Prelates, as S. Firmilian^ of Csesarea, and 

applies to ° . . 

s. Finniiiau. Hcleuus of TaTsus, had incurred the displeasure of Stephen by 
their adherence to the decrees of those Synods. To Firmilian, 
then, Cyprian wrote; consulting him on the steps which it 
might be proper to pursue under the present emergency, when 
their common cause was in danger, and when the See of Rome 
appeared to be stretching its prerogatives too far. 

It has been conjectured^ that, in this letter, which no longer 
exists, S. Cyprian had requested Firmihan to interest Dionysius 
in the matter. With Firmilian, the Bishop of Alexandria must 
have been personally acquainted ; for they had met in the Council 
of Antioch ; of Cyprian, he seems to have had no more intimate 

s. Stephen knowledge than that necessarily arising firom the high station and 

sLDionysiaa: wcll kuowu character of each Prelate. It would seem, however, 
that Stephen himself was the first to bring the subject before 

his reply, Diouysius. The latter, in his reply, earnestly requested the 
Pope to proceed with moderation, and not to disturb the 
peace of the Church, then, as he relates at length, but just 
recovering from the Novatian schism,^ by any harsh decision with 

1 Onr reason for reckoning this 
illustrious Prelate among the Blessed 
may be seen in the Preface. 

3 By Boschius the Bollandist in his 
previous Commentary to the Life of 
S. Stephen, under August 1. Byaeus 
(October ii. 37) has proved this hy- 
pothesis, chronologically, to be almost 
impossible, however ingenious at first 

> Quoted by Eusebins, H. £. vii. 5. 
The arrangement of the letters of 
S. Dionysius will be this : — 1 . To 
Pope S. Stephen quoted as above. — 

2. To Philemon.— 3. To S. Dionysius 
of Rome, then a Priest Of these no 
fragments remain : but they are men- 
tioned in the next following. — 4. The 
first to S. Siztus, quoted by Eusebius, 
H. E. yii. 5, 6. — 5. The second to 
Philemon, quoted by Eusebius, H. E. 
yii. 7. — 6. The second to S. Dionysius, 
quoted by Eusebius, H. E. vii. 8. — 
7. The second to S. Siztus, quoted by 
Eusebius, H.E. vii. 9.— 8. The third to 
S. Siztus, not quoted, but referred to 
in the same § of the same chapter. 
Of these, Eusebius does not reckon 


respect to the African and Oriental Prelates. At the same time 
he wrote to Dionysius and FhUemon^ who had consulted him on 
the same subject ; they were then Priests of the Church of 
Rome j and the former afterwards attained to the Chair of S. 

S, Cyprian and S. Stephen, though they could not agree on 
a matter of minor importance, were united by a glorious and 
nearly contemporary Martyrdom in the persecution of Valerian. 
To S. Sixtus, the successor of Stephen, Dionysius again wrote ; ^^ix^T*^ 
and a second time urged the necessity of union and mutual 
forbearance. To Philemon and Dionysius he also addressed JS^J"^®"®" 
two other letters ; and in the former, speaking of the subject of SlSSe!*'** 
in question, he affirms (what none can doubt), that the tradition 
which he had from ^ the blessed Pope Heraclas' was to require 
renunciation of error, and profession of Faith, but not to re- 
baptize those, who having been baptized in the Church, had 
been seduced to heresy, and had then rejoined themselves to 
Catholic Communion. And in a second letter to S. Sixtus, he 
rehttes the following tale : 

"One of the brethren, who gather* together in the church, Si'T'S* 
and who had long been accounted a member of the congrega- s. sixtw: 
tion before my ordination, or even, as I think, that of the 
blessed Heraclas, happened to be present at a Baptism. When 
he had heard the questions which were put to, and the 
answers received from, the candidates, he came to me weep- 
ing and bemoaning himself; and falling at my feet, he con- 
fessed and abjured the Baptism which he had received among 
the heretics, as not being of the same kind, nor having any 
the remotest resemblance to it ; rather, he affirmed, it was fiill of 
impiety and blasphemy. His soul, he said, was filled with the 
most bitter remorse ; nor did he dare to lift up his eyes to 
God, since the commencement of his Christian life had been 
those unholy words and actions. He therefore besought me 
to bestow on him that most pure laver and adoption and grace. 

the 2nd and 3rd in his enumeration, 2, 3, 4, 5th. The first three of these 

perhaps because they were short. must have been written in a.d. 256 ; 

llp^9pov fihv 6\lya, says Dionysius, the last five between August, a.d. 257, 

speaking of them, MartiXa. So that and August a.d. 258. See Byseus c. x. 
he reckons the 4, 5, 6, 7th, as the 


This I dared not to do : saying that his long continued commn- 
nion was sufficient. I bade him be of good courage^ and 
approach with an untroubled conscience to the participation 
of the Holy Mysteries. He^ however^ continues to mourn; he 
shudders to approach the Table^ and hardly^ though exhorted, 
dares to assist at the prayers.'^ On these circumstances he 
requests the Pope's advice. Eusebius informs us that he 
addressed the Church of Rome again on the subject of heretical 
Baptism, in the name of the Church of Alexandria; and 
considered the question at great length, 
s. Diony. A doubt has been raised as to the opinion which Dionysius 

sios's own , 

opinion, himsclf entertained on the validity of heretical baptism : a 
question, which but for the extremely confused account given 
by Eusebius, after his accustomed manner, of the whole cor- 
respondence, could hardly have been i^tated. 
8taS?by*^ It appears clear that the views of S. Dionysius were opposed 
s. Jerome, ^ those of the rc-baptizcrs ; but that he was for allowing each 
Church to act according to its own traditions. S. Jerome 
indeed says,^ that he consented to the dogma of S. Cyprian 
and the African Synod, and wrote many letters on the re-bap- 
tism of heretics, which were then extant. But, in the first place, 
it is very doubtful if that Father were in possession of more of 
his epistles than the fragments preserved to us by Eusebius ; and, 
in the second, if he were, as we cannot suppose Dionysius to 
have contradicted himself, the lost letters must have contained 
the same doctrine with those which we now possess.^ 
and rendered Now, of the fivc Epistlcs of which wc havc fragments 
the confused remaining, the first, addressed to S. Stephen, contains nothing 
Eusebias, which Can be alleged either for or against our assertion. The 
same may be said of the fourth, which is written to S. Dionysius 
of Rome. But in the second (which is the first to Pope Sixtus) 
he says, " Consider the importance of the subject. It has been 
decreed, as I am informed, in very large Synods of Bishops, 
that they who come over from heresy should first be instructed^ 

* Catalog. lUust. Vir. 69. ^ Ilpoicarifxi^deWaf. — See Coutant's 

^ And yet Flenry (ii. 305) unhesi- remarks on the note of Valearas, 

tatingly follows S. Jerome, " Saint Ed. Prop. S. Dion. 154. 

Denis ^^qne d'Alezandrie ^toit dans 

les mSmes sentiments que S. Cyprien." 


in the True Fsdth, and then be washed and purged .from the 
filth of their impure leaven/' And again^ in the third Epistle^ 
which is to Philemon: — ''I have learnt this also, — ^that this 
custom was not now introduced for the first time, nor in the 
African Church alone ; but long before this, under Bishops who 
have preceded us, and in very populous Churches ; and that it 
approved itself to the Synods holden at Iconium and Synnada, 
and to many of the brethren. Whose decisions if you over- 
throw, I cannot bear that they should be thrown into strife 
and contention. For it is written, ' Thou shalt not remove the 
landmarks of thy neighbour, which thy fathers have set\'' 

These fragments, if they at first sight seem to countenance SJj^SS^n 
S. Jerome's assertion, appear, on a little closer consideration, ^°* ^^ 
to be nothing more than a deprecation of too harsh a mode 
of vindicating what Dionysius allowed to be the true doctrine. 
True, he seems to say to the Roman Pontiff and his Presbyter, 
you have right on your side; but recollect by how many 
Bishops, and for how long a time, the opposite notion has been 
received, and do not plunge the Church into confusion by 
excommunicating the re-baptizers as if guilty of heresy. 

The story which we have above quoted from the second letter ™iiatS?t£e 
of Dionysius to S. Sixtus leads us to the same conclusion. Africans, 
That Prelate certamly doubted wh^er the baptism were valid 
that had been received by the aged man of whom he speaks ; 
but clearly he doubted this, not because it was conferred by 
heretical hands, but because it was conferred in an heretical way. 
This baptism, we are expressly told, was in no respect similar 
to that of the Catholics. If then, even in such an extreme case^ 
Dionysius doubted of the propriety of re-baptism, a case in 
which every Council that treated the subject commanded 
reiteration, how strongly must he have been opposed to a second 
Baptism, when the rite had been administered, though by 
heretics, in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and 
of the Holy Ghost ! 

It is objected that S. Dionysius himself assigns another 
reason for refusing in this case, to re-baptize, — ^namely, that the 
aged man who applied to him had made good his waiit of 
baptism, by his long enjoyment of the Commimion of the 
Church. This, however, seems rather an argument addressed 


to the inquirer himself^ than a reason brought forward for the 
consideration of the Pope. Be it so, he seems to say : con- 
sider, if you will, your heretical Baptism invalid. But be 
of good cheer, nevertheless ; it has been supplied to you by your 
frequent participation in the Divine Mysteries. To conclude : in 
/ the case before us, is there any doubt that S. Cyprian would 
have re-baptized the individual without further hesitation ? 

One thing more we learn from this account. It appears clear 
from it that, as early as the time of Demetrius, the practice of 
the Alexandrian Church was opposed to the iteration of 
Baptism, or the layman of whom Dionysius writes would not,, 
in the first instance, have been received without it. And 
whatever authority the testimony of S. Jerome may be supposed 
to have, it cannot possess more weight than that of S. Basil, ^ 
dfsSnS**^ who expressly affirms that Dionysius allowed the validity of 
■^A^* heretical Baptism, and adds his astonishment that so great a 
master of canonical learning should not even have rejected 
that of the Fepuzenes; although, says he, they baptized into 
the Father, and the Son, and Montanus and Priscilla. By 
this he simply intends to say that by the Holy Ghost they 
meant the Spirit that had animated Montanus and Priscilla, 
and of whom, indeed, Montanus professed to be an incarnation. 
Sntro **** '^^ controversy, for the time, remained undecided ; or rather, 
the increasing fury of the persecution of Valerian removed the 
principal disputants to that Place where there are no more 
controversies. It was decided by the Council of Nicaea^ ; and 
before that period, iteration of Baptism was virtually abandoned 
by all, except a few of the Numidian Prelates. The interference 
of S. Dionysius seems not to have been without its effect ; and 
to it we may ascribe the abstinence of Stephen from excom- 
municating S. Pirmilian and the African Bishops. 

^ Epist. Can. ad Amphiloch. $ 5. — tine so often speaks, — seems to be 

And see Coutant's note; Opp. S. - generally conceded to the arguments 
Dionys. Ed. Propagand. p. 158. of Bellarmin and Natalis Alexander; 

3 That it was not finally condemned through others, as Launoy and Sir- 
till then, — and that Nicsea was the mond, understand the expression of 
'* Plenary Council' * of which S. Angus- the Great Council of Aries, a.d. 3 1 4. 



The controversy on Baptism was yet at its height^ when an un- a.d. 247. 
expected calamity overwhelmed the Church. Valerian, who had incitedby 
hitherto favoured Christianity in a remarkable degreee, insomuch, ^^^^ 
says Dionysius,^ that not even those who were openly said to be 
Christians, (that is, FhiUp and Alexander Severus,) proved them- 
selves warmer friends to its professors, now altered his conduct 
and commenced that persecution which is usually reckoned as 
the Ninth. To this change he was incited by Macrianus, a man penecates 
whose wealth, experience, and military talents, gave him influence * "" 
second only to that of the emperor. He had been informed by 
an Egyptian astrologer, that he should one day succeed to the 
Imperial Throne : — and he, in consequence, took on himself the 
patronage of the whole tribe of soothsayers and prognosticators. 
As the Church ceased not to proclaim the abandoned character 
of these men, ani the unlawful nature of their art, Macrianus 
determined to revenge himself on those that had insulted and 
injured his favourites. 

As soon as the edict of persecution reached Alexandria, Dio- s.mooysiiu 

, , - after con- 

nysius was summoned before ^milian, Augustal Prefect. He f^^s bc- 
was not left to face his trial alone.^ Maximus, then one of his ^> 
priests, afterwards his successor, accompanied him to the tribu* 
nal : so also did three deacons : and a Christian from Rome, 
named Marcellus, who happened to be at Alexandria, went with 
the Patriarch to the Augustal. Of the good confession that 
these servants of Christ then witnessed, we have an account 
from the pen of Dionysius, who, however, with characteristic 
modesty, chooses rather to transcribe the public Acts, than to 
relate his answers from his own remembrance. 

'' iBmilian, the Prefect, said : — I now, by word of mouth, as 
heretofore by writing, set before you the clemency of our princes. 
They give you the power of preserving your lives, if you will 

> Enseb. H. £. vu. 10. > Euseb. H. E. vii. 1 1. 



turn to that which is agreeable to nature^ and adore the gods 
that preserve their empire, and forget that which is contrary to 
nature. What say you to this ? I expect that you will not be 
unthankful with respect to their kindness, since, assuredly, they 
are for turning you to a better course. Dionysius answered : — 
All men do not adore the same divinities, but each worships 
those whom he considers to be gods. We reverence and adore 
One Odd, the Maker of aU things. Who gave the empire into the 
han^ of Valerian and GraUienus, beloved of God, and to Him 
we pray continually, that their government may remain unshaken, 
^milian, the Prefect, said to them : Who hinders your adoring 
Him also, if, as you say. He is 6od, together with those that are 
by nature gods ? You have been commanded to worship the 
gods, and such gods as all own. Dionysius said : We adore 
none other, ^milian, the Frrfect, said to them : I see that you 
are at once ungrateful for, and unconscious of, the clemency of 
our Augusti. Wherefore you shall not remain in this city, but 

to Kefro,^ shall be sent into Libya, to the place called Kefro. I have 
chosen this spot as directed by the Augusti. But it shaU in no 
manner be lawful for you, nor for any else, to hold assemblies, nor 
to enter into the so called cemeteries. If any one shall be con- 
victed of not going to the place which I have mentioned, or shall 
be found in any assembly, he shall bring danger on his own 
head, and the fitting animadversion shaU not be wanting. De- 
part then whither you have been commanded.^^ 

Kefro, or, as the Arabians call it, yalorri,^ lay in the wilds of 
Libya ; and thither Dionysius, though labouring under illness, 
was at once hurried. A large body of Christians accompanied 
him thither ,• some from Alexandria, others from various other 
parts of Egypt. The Gospel had not hitherto been preached in 
this place ; and there, to use the Patriarch's own words, the 
Lord opened a great door for the Word. For though the little 

preaches band of belicvcrs were reviled and exposed to personal violence, 

■with ereftt 

iuiccess: before long a large number of the heathen left the worship of 
idols, and gave their names to Christ. God had evidently led 
His servants to that place, to be the founders of a flourishing 
Church; and when that ministry was fulfilled, he conducted 
them to another spot. Among the Bishop's fellow exiles, we 

1 Sevems, ap. Renaud. p. 36. 


have already spoken of Maximus. The deacon Eusebius^ having 
been sent into Syria to oppose the heresy of Paul of Samosata, 
was there made Bishop of Laodicea^ and the deacon Faustns^ in 
extreme old eijge, finished his com*se by martyrdom imder Diocle- 
tian. ^ 

.^milian^ hearing of the progress that the Faith was making 
at Kefiro^ gave orders that Dionysius should be removed to 
Coluthion, a city of Mareotis. The Bishop confesses that he thence to 

•t J • • j.i_» • j_? *' ^11 Colathion. 

was much annoyed on receivmg this mtimation : the place was 
infested by robbers^ and tenanted by a wild race. His friends^ 
however^ represented that it was nearer to Alexandria ; that if at 
Kefro the resort of Christians had been great^ the inhabitants 
of the metropoUs would flock to Coluthion as to a suburb ; that 
the change was evidently designed^ by the Head of the Church, 
for its good. And so it fell out. 

While Dionysius was thus enacting the part of a brave and 
vigilant pastor, and towards the end of the p^secution, he was He defends 
exposed to considerable annoyance by Grermanus,^ an Egyptian a^lfit 
Bishop, though it is uncertain in what See. Germans accused the ^^"*"°* ' 
Patriarch of general carelessness and remissness in his pastoral 
duties, but more especially of neglecting, during the time of his 
exile, to assemble for worship the Christians who were with him, 
Dionysius replied by the letter, to which we are indebted for the 
particulars which have reached us of his behaviour, during both 
the persecution of Decius and that of Valerian. 

At the same time, he was engaged in writing other letters, addresses 

' ^^^ . various let- 

both regarding his own Church, and that of other countries. He ten to 

, different 

was in correspondence with S. Sixtus on the Baptismal question : persons: 
we find him also addressing the presbytery of the Alexandrian 
Church, during the greatest violence of the persecuti(m. Tw<^ 
other letters, respectively addressed to Flavian, and to Didymus 
and Domitius, require a few observations. 

They were Paschal letters, and, as it is supposed^ by some, the 
first of their kind. But whether S. Dionysius followed the 
example of his predecessors, or was the original author of the 

1 Euseb. H. E. vii. 11, ad fin. Le ' Vit. S. Dionys. in Ed. Propagand. 

Quien, ii. 791 B. p. ciii. We have already stated (p. 29) 

that some writers attribute their origin 
' Euseb. H. E. ti. 1. to S. Demetrius. 




[book T. 

and com' 
poses his 
Cycle of 

custom^ it is certain that from tliis time^ the Patriarchs of Alex- 
ftndria annually announced the date of the commencement of 
Lent^ and of Easter Day, Custom at first, at the Council^ of 
Nicsea this became law ; and many of these Paschal Epistles, 
especially of Theophilus, S. Cyril, and we may now add, of S. 

eiflrhtyears. Athanasius, stiU remain to us. They began with a sermon on 
the Festival, whence they are indiflferently known as HomiUes or 
Epistles, and end with the required announcement. Those of 
Dionysius appear to have been addressed to various Egyptian 
Bishops, and not to have been possessed of, nor to have claimed, 
authority beyond the limits of his ownDioecese. Afterwards 
this oflice, exercised with respect to the whole Church,^ was a 
most honourable, and somewhat laborious function of the See of 

Alexandria had been, from the first, so noted a school of Mathe^ 
Jnatics, that it is not wonderful to find its Prelates engaged in 
calculations connected with the Calendar. But we may justly 
admire the zeal displayed by Dionysius for the minuter points 
connected with the Service of God, when we find him, during 

Office of (he the violcucc of the persecution, engaged in the composition of 

Patriarch of . ■• . . 

Alexandria his Paschal Cyclc. It contamed a period of eight years.^ S. 
Hippolytus had already composed one of sixteen : but that of S. 
Dionysius was, by the Fathers of Nicsea, made the basis of & 
more extended cycle of nineteen^ years, which is known by the 
name of th^ Alexandrine. The octennial period was doubtless sug- 
gested to the Patriarch by the Octaeterides of Cleostratiis, Har- 
palus, and Eudoxus. It was in his above-named Epistle to 
Heortastic Domitius and Didymus that he promulgated this cycle; and 
Epistles. jj^j^ down,* at the same time, his celebrated Canon, that Easter 
cannot fall previously to the Vernal Equinox. 

1 Le Quien u. 378 B. 

3 S. Leo, writing to Marcian, (Ep. 
94) says, speaking of errors in regard 
to the celebration of Easter, '* Stadne< 
runt itaque Sancti Patres (sc. Nicaeni) 
occasionem bujus erroris auferre, om- 
nem banc curam Alezandrino Episcopo 
delegantes; quoniam apud JSgyptios 
bnjas suppatationis antiquitus tradita 

esse videbatur peritia/' &c. And se^ 
Le Quien, ii. 377. 

' It is singular tbat both Tillemont 
(iv. 274) and Fleury should speak of 
this as a cycle of eighteen years ; there 
being no ground for, nor reason in, 
such an arrangement. 

* Vit. S. Dionys. ii. 1. 

^ Euseb. H. E. yii. 10: — where see 
Stroth's translation and note. 




Hitherto S. Dionysius, though often well nigh overwhelmed Rise of sa. 
with affliction^ and suffering alike from sickness and want^ from 
the oppression of enemies^ and the calumnies of false friends^ 
had run a course equally glorious for himself and profitable for 
the Church oyer which he presided. He had stood forth the 
pacificator of the East and West ; he had crushed, in its rise, a 
dangerous heresy; he had been distinguished for his zeal in as- 
certaining the discipline, as well as maintaining the doctrine of 
the Church, and he had gloriously confessed Christ in two se- 
veral persecutions. Again he was called to defend the One Faith 
against a new and more perilous heresy j and although, through 
the infirmity of human nature, he had nearly tarnished his former 
glory, and from an illustrious defender, become a powerful adver- 
sary of the Truth, the same meekness and humility that had 
made him willing to listen to the reasonings of the partizans of 
Nepos, rendered him ready to give ear to the admonitions of a 
Boman Council. 

It was at the commencement of the persecution of Valerian, 
or perhaps even somewhat earlier, that Sabellius began to dis- 
seminate his doctrine in Pentapolis : and denying the real dis- in Pentapo- 
tinction of Persons, to annihilate the doctrine of the Ever Blessed 
Trinity. The heresy was not new : — ^it was, in effect, the same 
with that which had, at an earUer period, been propagated by 
Fraxeas ; and had been taught to Sabellius by his master, the 
heretic Noetus. In its earlier forms, it had made but little pro- 
gress ; but now, assuming a more definite shape, and attracting 
to itself the elements of congenial errors, it spread rapidly through 
the whole of Pentapolis. If it be true that Sabellius^ was Bishop 
of Ptolemais, as an uncertain tradition asserts, it had a firm basis 
whence to propagate itself: and falUng in, as we have elsewhere 

I So Zonaras asserts : but his evidence is unsupported by any other writer. 
Bynus, Octob. Holland, ii. 47. 


its rapid observed^ with the mystical temperament of Egyptian minds^ it had 
soon infected, not only a large portion of the laity, with a con- 
siderable number of Priests, but was cherished by more than one 
Bishop in the neighbouring Sees, in particular, by Ammonius of 
Bemice. The dogma thus acquiring strength may be briefly 
stated as follows : — ^That the Father, the Son, and the Holy 

andftinda. Ghost are One Hypostasis; one Person with Three Names; 

d^BB, that the same Person, in the old dispensation, as Father, gave 
the law ; in the new, as Son, was incarnate for the sake of man ; 
and as Holy Ohost, descended upon the Apostles at the Day of 
Pentecost. As the natural consequence of the dissemination of thk 
doctrine, the Son of God was no more preached in the churches. 
But some there were who were vatiant for the Truth of God, and 
who girded up their loins to contend for the Faith. They repre- 

itifloppoMd: sented, in the words of S. Dionysius,^ that the new teaching was 
toll of impiety and blasphemy against the Almighty God, the 
Father of Our Lord Jesus : full of imbelief against His Only 
begotten Son, the First-bom of every creature, the Word, That 
dwelt among men ; and fuU of madness against the Holy Ghost. 

S^^'artiw** The partizans of Sabellius daily increasing, both parties ap- 

iSonysi^s^* pcalcd to Diouysius, who was then in exile at Kefiro. Not con- 
tent with consulting him by letter, they despatched trustworthy 
persons to receire his decision by word of mouth ; and he listened 
with patience to the assertions and arguments of the contending 
fections. When they had concluded, he lost no time in making 
his decision, and in setting himself, by several letters, to oppose 
the new heretic. Of his proceedings, he gave an account to 
Sixtus of Bome, in the first I^istle which he addressed to the 
Pontiff on the subject of re-baptism, to which we have heretofore 

demns the referred. He wrote to Ammonius,^ who seems to have been a 
Prelate of talent, and one whom it was therefore important, on 
all accounts, to reclaim from error; to Telesphorus, and to Eu- 
phranor,^ who were probably also Bishops in the Pentapdlis, and 
again to Ammonius and Euphranor conjointly. 

^ Ap. Enseb. H. E. vii. 6. doctrine. But the testimony of S. 

Athanaaias is dedsiTe. Conf. De Sent. 

3 Easel). H. K tu. 26. We might Dionys. § 5. with § 13. 
have imagined that Ammonius, or as ^ Or Eupoms, according to Euse- 

Enscbios calls him, Ammon, was one bins. But the account of S.Adianasius 
of the Bishops who upheld the Catholic is of far more weight. 


But the last letter^ instead of composing^ did but excite the 
controversy. Since the SabeUians^ confounding the Father 
and the Son^ attributed to the former those things which re- 
ferred to the Human Nature of the latter^ in the same manner 
that the Patripassians had done before them ; it was the object 
of Dionysius to demonstrate that what was attributed to the 
Humanity of Christ^ could not be predicated of the Father.^ "Snds'the 
He thus intended to compel his adversaries to an admission of ^1^^ 
the distinction between the Persons of the Father and the 
Son ; and this was to be considered only as the first part of 
his argument. He would then have demonstrated the Divi- 
nity of the Son of God ; and having confuted those that con- 
founded the Persons^ would have guarded himseK against the 
imputation of dividing the Substance. And this method of 
teaching is approved by S. Athanasius. 

That Father was constantly traduced by the Arians^ as if he 
contradicted the doctrine delivered by S. Dionysius ; he devoted 
a treatise to the consideration and refutation of their objections : 
and from it we obtain a fuller insight into the merits of the Pen- 
tapolitan controversy, than the meagre and somewhat unfair 
account of Eusebius supplies. The method pursued by Diony- 
sius was considered by his great successor to be consonant with 
that employed by the Apostles. They, he says, exhibited first the 
Human Actions of Christ to the Jews : they thus endeavoured 
to convince them, from His miracles, that Messiah was come , 
and then, and not till then, made manifest, by the consideration 
of His marvellous works, that this same Messiah was their Loro 
and their God. 

But the epistle to AmMonius and Euphranor unfortunately ''"♦•j'y* 
contained only the first portion of the Patriarch's ar&nunent. In- ^^'^ against 

J r ^ ^ p misconcep- 

cautiously, it would appear, Dionysius suflFered himself to be**°°» 
hurried on in his most true assertion of the Saviour's real Per- 
sonality and Humanity, to the failure of setting forth, according 
to the Aill analogy, His Consubstantiality and Divinity. He as- 
serted nothing, so far as we now have the means of judging, that 
was contrary to GathoUc Truth ; but he did not sufficiently guard 
his assertions from the possibility of misconception and misre- 

^ S. Athanas. $ 9. (i. 195. Ed. Patav. 1777). And see Byaus, Octob. ii. 48. 
§ 147. 


presentation. When he was in reality speaking of the Human 
Nature, his enemies might say, and weaker brethren might beKeve, 
fo«f °^h** that he was speaking of the Divine. And one famous passage 
dox. gave a handle to a formal impeachment of his orthodoxy. 

^^The Son of God, he wrote, was made and produced. He 
is not proper in His Nature, but differing, in essence, from 
the Father, as the vine from the husbandman, and the boat 
from the shipwright : for seeing that He was made. He was not 
before He was produced.^' 

These expressions of S, Dionysius occasioned no small con- 
troversy throughout Pentapolis. Some, who were entirely 
opposed to the doctrine of SabeUius, saw as much danger in 
that of Dionysius ; and their zeal caused them to forget their 
charity. — ^Without writing to their own Patriarch,^ without con- 
sidering that he might be able to explain or willing to retract 
that which they deemed heretical in his statements, they laid a 
The formal complaint before S. Dionysius of Rome, who had suc- 

Catholicsof ^ ^ . 

Pentapolis cccdcd S. Sixtus iu A.D. 259. The heads of their charge were 

complain to . 

s. Dionysius two : — ^that the Bishop of Alexandria asserted the Son of God 

of Rome: ' *^ 

to be a creature, and refused the word and the doctrine of Con- 

substantiaUty. A Council, whether ah*eady assembled for some 

who, in other cause, or convoked by the Pope to decide on this, con- 

coniemns dcmucd without hesitation the doctrine contained in, or deduced 

subStSito from, the extracts submitted to them. The Bishop of Bx)me 

'" ' wrote, in their name as well as in his own^, to his namesake of 

Alexandria, informing him both of the charges made against 

him, and of the decision to which the Council of Rome had 

come. At the same time, perhaps to vindicate himself from the 

suspicion of holding an opposite error, the Pontiff himself 

composed a work against the Sabellians.^ 

The Bishop of Alexandria, on the receipt of these missives, 
found himself put, as it were, on his trial, with Rome for his 
accuser, and the whole Church for his judge. That he, whose 
whole life had been one long struggle with heresy, — ^he, who 
could look back on the time when he confirmed in the faith or 

^ S. Athanas. de Sentent. S. Dion- talis Alexander, make a singular mls- 
ynii § 13. take, from a mistranslation of the 

2 S. Athanas. de Synod. ^^^^^ °^ ®- ^t^^a^^s, in attributing 

this treatise against the Sabellians to 

3 Baronius, ^263, xxxvi.) and Na- Dionysius of Alexandria. 



disposed to unity the very Pontiff who now appeared as his 
opponent^ — ^that he should thus be compelled to stand on his 
defence must have been a bitter task ; and one which a proud 
spirit would probably have reAised^ even though he had thereby 
plunged the whole Church into an abyss of confusion. Not so 

He had already, it appears, addressed a letter^ to the Bishop a.d. 961 or 
of Rome on the same subject ; and more particularly in defence ^je Bishop 
of his unwillingness to use the word Gonsubstantial. But he andria min- 
now, under the title of a Recitation and Apology^, composed Reftitabon 
four books,3 or epistles,* (for they are indifferently called by both Apology j 
names) against the accusations of the PentapoUtans. He com- 
plains that his accusers quoted his words in so disjointed and 
arbitrary a manner, that they misrepresented his sense ; — ^that 
they uniformly affixed to them the worst signification, and J»^J**<* >»• 
made him say things which he was far from intending. denies. 

His adversaries had urged against him that he had asserted 
the Sox to be different in substance from the Father; bringing 
forward the unhappy, — ^because nakedly stated, — ^illustration of. 
the Vine and the Vinedresser. 

He replies, that he had not used the term Gonsubstantial, as 
not having found it in Scripture^; but that his meaning, if 
rightly considered, was the same with that of those who em- 
ployed it ; that the examples in his first letter sufficiently proved partly 
this, and that on this account he was grieved to be unable, at charges 
the moment, to lay his hands on a copy of it; — ^that as a plant against um. 

^ This is clear from the passage of 
the first book of the Refutation, quo- 
ted by S. Athanasius, de Sent. § 23. 

^ S. Athanasius perhaps (de Sentent 
§ 1 4) rather stretches a point in argu- 
ing from this very title that the Arians 
could not claim Dionysius as their own. 
But seeBuU, Defens. F. N. u. 11, 4. 

* Modem writers generally say, 
three. Fleury, vii. 64, "Saint Denis — 
repondit — par un ouvrage divis^ en 
trois livres." This probably arises from 
the fact, that S. Athanasius, in the be- 
fore quoted treatise, refers only to the 
first, second, and third books of the 

Apology. But Eusebius (H.E. vii. 26) 
and S. Jerome (Catalog. 69,) expressly 
say that there were four : so that the 
non-quotation of the fourth by Atha- 
nasius is probably accidental. After 
all, it is just possible that Fleury is 
right ; and that Eusebius counted in 
the previous Epistle to Dionysius of 
Rome as one of the books of the 
Apology, because it was on the same 

^ S. Athanasius calls them so more 
than once : so does S. Basil (de Spirit. 
Sanct. cxxix.) 

« De Sent. 20. 


differed from its root^ a river from ita fountain^ while yet in each 
case^ the nature of both was the same; so it was with respect 
to these Divine Persons. 

It had been urged against him that he had asserted the Son 
not of necessity to be eternally existent. He answers^ that 
what he affirmed was totally different ; namely^ that the Father 
only was seK-existent^ the Son existing in and by the Father^; 
in the same manner as if the Sun were eternal its splendour 
would be co-eternal j yet not seK-existent^ but eternally derived 
from the Sun. He had always^ he said^ affirmed the eternity of 
the Father^s existence as Father ; and therefore by implica- 
tion affirmed the eternity of the Son. It had also been objected 
that he had spoken of the Father and Son separately^ as if 
wishing to make a division of Their substance.^ He answers, 
that in naming the Father, he impUed the Son by the very 
title j if there were no Son, how could there be a Father ? 
In like manner, in naming the Son, he implied the Father; if 
there were no Father, how could there be a Son ? His oppo- 
.nents had said, that the Father, according to him, had created 
aU things. He defends himself by returning that he had ex- 
pressly guarded that assertion. The Father, he had affirmed, 
was not properly and by way of generation Father of the 
things which He created ; therefore He had not created that of 
which He was properly and by way of generation Father ; and 
therefore it followed from his statement, that the Word was 

Proceeding to another illustration, he says,^ that as the heart 
indites a good word, the thought and word yet remaining en- 
tirely distinct and unconfused, the one dweUing in the heart, 
the other on the lips, while yet one does not exist without the 
other, but the thought engenders the word, and the word 
exhibits the thought, and the thought is an implicit word, and 
the word an expUcit thought, and the thought is the father of 
the word, and the word the child of the thought, existing with 
it, existing from it ; even so that Great Father and Universal 
Mind hath before all things His Son, as His Word, Interpreter, 
and Angel. 

1 Ibid. 18. 9 Ibid. 17. 3 Ibid. 23. 



This apology was considered satisfactory; — and the Bishop of hu defence 
Alexandria retained his reputation as the first living Doctor of *"*** 
the Church. 1 Doubtless it was providentially ordered that the 
suspicious passages in the letter against Sabellius received so 
full an explanation ; — otherwise that Epistle would have formed 
the great bulwark of the Arians in the subsequent controversy. 
Even as it was, they, as we have seen, abused it to their own 
purposes ; — ^and there have not been wanting some, and they 
not unable, judges who have believed him, however innocently, 
to have given the first hint to the then undeveloped frenzy of 

^ It ia cnrioas to read the account 
which the Mahometan historian, 
Makrizi, gives of the tenets of Sabel- 
lius.— *< Others said: That the Son 
depends on the Father, as one flame 
of fire depends on another flame, and 
that the one cannot be severed from 
the other without thereby receiving 
detriment. This was the opinion of 
SaheUins from the Thebais, and his 
foUowers." (§ 123, Ed. Wetzer.) 

^ The opinions entertained by S. 
BasU and Gennadins on the orthodoxy 
of Dionysins, will be more fitly ex- 
amined in a note. The words of the 
latter, who flourished towards the dose 
of the fifth century, are these : Nihil 
ereatnm, aut serviens, in Trinitatb 
credamus, ut vult Dionysius, fons 
Arii. But the testimony of this author 
has not much weight in a subject like 
die present; the rather that aU he 
knew about Dionysins he seems to 
haye known through S.Basil. To the 
latter Father, therefore, we turn. In 
his epistle to Maximus, — the passage 
is too weU known and too long for 
quotation, — he makes the three foUow- 
ing assertions : 1. That Dionysins 
sowed the first seeds of the Anomoean, 
— ^the rankest off-shoot of the Arian, 
heresy; 2. That he is inconsistent, 
sometimes allowing, sometimes reject- 
ing, the use of the word Consubstan- 

tial ; 3. That he reckons the Holt 
Ghost among created things, and thus 
rejects His Divinity. With respect to 
the first assertion: it seems certain 
that S. Basil, at the time of writing 
this Epistle, had not read the defence 
of Dionysius by S. Athanasius; but 
that he had not read Dionysius's own 
defence, addressed to his namesake of 
Rome, whatever Baronius says to the 
contrary (263, xliii.), is sufficiently 
proved by TUlemont (Mon. Ecc. iv. 
262), and Byieus (§ 215), to be ex- 
tremely improbable. AU that can be 
said is, that Basil, at the time of wri- 
ting to Maximus, was young, — it is 
certain that he was not yet a Bishop, 
•—and that he wrote somewhat more 
hastily than his mature judgment ap- 
proved. As to the second assertion 
of S. BasU, it is as unjust to accuse 
S. Dionysius of inconsistency on this 
point, as it would be to bring the same 
charge against the Church itself. 
The great CouncU of Antioch, holden 
A.D. 269 or 270, against Paul of Samo- 
sata, rejected (at least this seems most 
probable,)ithe term,becausethathereti6 
had abused it : the Council of Nicsea 
insisted on it,because Arius could be ex- 
posed by none other. Thus, in writing 
against Sabellius, Dionysius refused 
to employ it, lest he should appear to 
favour the sentiments of his opponent ; 





A.D. too. The exile of S. Dionysius was not of very long duration. He had 
himself applied to Valerian the words of the Apocalypse ; ''there 
was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphe- 
mies ; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two 
months."^ And in fact Valerian, after persecuting the Church 
Valerian is for three years and a half, was taken prisoner by Sapor, King of 
prisoner t Persia, by whom he was treated with every indignity during a 
ten years' captivity, and at last flayed aUve. He was nominally 
succeeded by his son GaUienus, who had been associated with him 
in the purple ; but the Roman Empire groaned under the violence 
of the Thirty Tyrants. GaUienus was anxious to put a stop to 
the persecution ; but Macrianus, who with his sons, assumed the 
purple in the Eastj remained the same bitter enemy to Christianity 
that he had ever been. Alexandria owned allegiance to him^ ; 

the Thirty 

when accuBcd of denying the Divinity 
of the Son of God, he expressed his 
willingness to adopt it. It may also be 
observed that, where he most strongly 
denied the Son's Consabstantiahty 
with the Father, he is speaking of 
His Human Nature. With reference 
to S. Basil's third assertion, it has 
been thought, among others by Bull, 
(D.F.N. ii. 11,3,) ByiBus, (§ 217,) 
and Tillemont, (iv. 282,) that he after- 
wards changed his opinion. In his 
first canonical epistle, he twice gives 
Dionysius his usual title of Great : 
and in his treatise on the Holt 
Spirit, he cites a passage of his 
in defence of the doctrine of His Divi- 
nity. It is true that, in quoting this 
testimony, he calb it wonderful ; and 
the Benedictine Editors thence infer 
that Basil never chang^ his opinion : 
but, argues Byeus, it seems fairer to 
interpret his meaning to be an ex- 

pression of admiration at the majesty 
and clearness of the passage which he 
is citing. This might be very possibly 
said, if the word used by S. Basil were 
Bavfidtrtov — ^but since it is wapdiSo^ow — 
rather strange and unexpected than 
admirable — and above all iro^«(5o|or 
&icov<rai, we cannot but think the Bene- 
dictine Editors' interpretation the 
more probable. 

^ Apocal. xiii. 6. Euseb. H. E. vii. 

3 This seems the most natural way 
of composing the contradictory evi- 
dence of historians. We have fixed 
A.D. 260 as the date of Valerian's cap* 
tivity. Pearson in his Ann. Cyp. and 
Pagi in his Critice have summed up 
nearly all the arguments that can be 
brought forward, the former for 260, 
the latter for 259. Byteus devotes 
$§ 235—260 to a discussion of the 


and the persecution continuing^ Dionysius was, for the time> 
unable to return to his flock. 

But Macrianus, marching against Aureolas, who had appeared ^'^' ^^• 
in lUyria as a claimant of the empire, was defeated and slain by 
him on the borders of Thrace. Thus Egypt fell into the power 
of (jaUienus. A rescript was immediately addressed by that 
emperor to ''Dionysius, Primus, Demetrius,^ and the other 
Bishops,'^ permitting them to enjoy the general toleration of **»^^^^^ 
religious opinions, and strictly forbidding all persons to molest JJ^JJ^JJ,^. 
them on account of their belief. On this, Dionysius returned 
to Alexandria, 

But the peace enjoyed by that Church lasted only a very short 
time. A quarrel broke out between the soldiery and the popu- insurrection 

•/' . . inthatdty: 

lace on the most trifling pretence^ (it is said to have arisen in 
a dispute between a slave and a soldier, as to whether had the 
better shoes). The whole city was in a state of sedition; the 
governor was attacked by stones, weapons, and every other 
missile that popular indignation supplied. Despairing of life, 
^miUan, a man of parts and vigour, assumed the purple ; — the -fimiuan 
army supported him ; — and he had soon subdued the Thebaisporpie; 
and the whole of Egypt. He then again returned to his me- 
tropolis. Part of the city held for GalUenus, part acknowledged 
^milian ; while Theodotus besieged Alexandria with the troops of ^J^icSBd • 
the emperor. There were two Christians,^ Eusebius and Ana- 
toHus, both natives of Alexandria, and both in course of time 
Bishops of Laodicea, whose actions deserve to be recorded. 
Eusebius was a partisan of Theodotus ; Anatolius among the ^JjJ}*'*^^ 
foUowers of ^miHan. That part of the city which acknowledged EuBebiua 
Gallienus was free from any further trouble than the presence AnatoUus. 
of the army necessarily occasioned; while the other portion 
suffered all the horrors of famine. Eusebius, who dwelt in the 
former, receiving information from his friend of the dreadful 
sufferings of which he was daily eye-witness, used his influence, 
which was not inconsiderable, with Theodotus, to obtain a promise 
of safety to any one, who would abandon the usurper, and sur- 
render himself prisoner. He gave notice of this to Anatohus, 

1 Euseb. H. E. vii. 13. Who Primns > TrebeUios Pollio de xxx Tyrannis, 

and Demetrius were, it is impossible cap. 2i. Euseb. H. E. vii. 21, 
to disooTer. ' Euseb. H. E. vii. 32. 


who assembled the Senate^ and proposed sobmission to the 
Romans. A tumult instantly arose; but the speaker kept his 
place. " At least/' said he^ ^' let those who cannot be of any 
assistance to us^ let the infants^ the aged men^ and the women^ 
avail themselves of this promise of security. Weak by nature^ 
exhausted by famine, what service can they render ? They will 
but consume the com which we should husband for the support 
of those who can fight in our defence.^' 

The Senate assented; and multitudes took advantage oi this 
permission to escape to the enemy's camp. The Christians^ 
disguised as women^ passed the gates *and were in safety; and 
Eusebius took care to provide the nourishment and the medi- 
cine necessary for those who had suffered such extremity of 

.£milian possessed nine of the public granaries ; and firightful 

nMue"*^ fiunine was followed by pestilence. We have already remarked 

rMppMR} ^^ Alexandria, since the first ravages of the plague that had 
visited it firom Ethiopia, had never been entirely free from it. 
It b^an in autumn, and ended about the rising of the dog star.^ 
But now the new elements which unwholesome diet, want of 
the necessaries of life, and a crowded population, added to pre-* 
disposition towards this disease, caused its ravages to be terrible. 

A.D.18S. Easter drew on; and still on all sides raged war, JEonine, and 

disease. '' It is easier,'' writes Dionysius in a Paschal Epistle 
to Hierax, an Egyptian Bishop,^ — *^ it is easier to travel from 
east to west, than £rom one part of Alexandria to another. The 
heart of the city is wilder and more pathless than that vast 
desert, through which Israel journeyed. The river, as in the 
time of Moses, seems turned into blood, and fetid ; — what water 
can cleanse the stream itsdlf ? When will the dark and clouded 
air become clear and serene ?" — ^It would appear — ^for the words 
may weU be taken literally — that Alexandria was envelc^ied in 
the same dense, close, murky atmosphere that is known to have 
accompanied so many great plagues. 

^^^ . At length the arms of Theodotus were crowned with success ; 
.^milian fell into his hands, and was strangled in prison,^ But, 

1 So Cedrenns informs as. Heini- < In these dates, we follow Byens, 

chen, in Enseb. vii. 22. whose reasoning on the subject is 

< Eoseb. H. E. 21. most masterly. Valesins and Heini- 



on the approach of another Easter, the plague appears to have a.d. 904. 
raged with increased violence,^ and the subject of Dionysius's 
Paschal letter,^ addressed to the Alexandrians in general, was Paschai 
charity. He begins by remarking that to other men such a s.DioD78iaB. 
season would Uttle seem the time for a festival ; that every street 
and laue of the city was fall of misery, that the multitude of 
funerals, and the countless numbers of the dying, seemed 
to fill all quarters of Alexandria, — ^that as of old in Egypt, 
so also now, there was not a house where there was not 
one, — and would there were only one ! — dead. Nevertheless, 
as in times past persecution and tyranny could not prevent 
them from celebrating the Festivals of the Church, so that the 
desert, the ship, the prison became the House of Oon, (though 
none were so blessed as the Martyrs, who were banqueting in 
the Kingdom of Heaven ;) so now, in the midst of sickness and 
death they might share in the same holy joy. The pestilence, 
he observes, while it had not spared the Christians, had com- 
mitted the greatest ravages among the heathen. Many of the 
brethren had taken their lives in their hand, and attempting for 
the love of Christ to cure the sick, had died with them ; others 
had succeeded in preserving the lives of them to whom they 
ministered, at the expense of their own : — ^they had tended their 

chen, more or less closelyi agree with 
him. The Editor of the Propaganda 
edition makes the letter to Hieraz, 
and the Paschal Epistle on Charity, to 
have been written in the same year, 

1 We thus explain an apparent con< 
tradiction between the qpistle to 
Hierax, and that on Charity. In the 
former, Dionysius speaks of the plague 
and the war as co- existing: — in the 
latter, after talking of the peace which 
Christ had given to us alone, he 
speaks of a fipaxvrwrii ivairvofi and 
then proceeds, ixucardffien^tw ^ p6<ros 
oMi, It will be observed that in the 
letter to Hierax he says but little of 
the plague, and that rather as a con- 
tinuation of the pestilence that had 
already lasted for several years, — ol 

trvptx^'is \oifA6i. — So that, if this plague, 
as usual, abated at the rising of the 
dog-star in 263, its fresh and more 
terrible attack in the autumn of that 
year might well be spoken of as a new 
visitation. We prefer this explanation 
to another which has suggested itself 
to us, — that by the peace which 
Christ gave might be meant peace 
from persecution; without reference 
to anything else. The context hardly 
admits this : The persecution of the 
Pagans, says he, we suffered alone; 
in their civil commotions we suffered 
mth them ; and then we enjoyed the 
peace that Christ gave us alone. 
This difficulty has not, that we are 
aware, been noticed, 
s Euseb. H. £. viL 22. 


persecutors^ aad supplied the necessities of those who had been 
the murderers of their brethren. Some there were, who taking 
up the bodies of the Saints, closing their eyes and lips, bearing 
them on their shoulders, washing, composing, and adorning 
them, had need, no long time after, that the same ofiBices of love 
should be performed to themselves. The Priests and deacons 
especially signalised themselves in these deeds of charity; — 
and three of the latter^ whom we have already mentioned, 
Faustus, Chseremon, and Eiisebius, fell victims to their love. 
The Pagans, on the contrary, endeavoured to avoid death at the 
sacrifice of every tie of domestic love ; they would not visit the 
sick, they would not bury the dead, and yet they were unable, 
after all, to preserve themselves. 

The Confessors, who gave their lives for their brethren, are 
commemorated as Martyrs on the twenty-eighth day of February. 
Eusebius,^ in the Coptic Calendar, is honoured by himself on 
the seventh of the same month. 
A.D. 265. jjj |.jjg ensuing summer the plague seems to have much 
abated; — and in his next Paschal Epistle, which was also his 
last, addressed to the Christians thoughout Egypt,^ Dionysius 
speaks of the city of Alexandria as at rest. 



Worn out with years and with his labours for the truth, 
Dionysius seemed but waiting for his signal to depart and to be 
with Christ, which to him was far better, when it pleased God 
to make manifest that His servant^s continuance yet a little 
while in the flesh was more needful for His Church. Paul, 

1 At least, if we compare the season ^(D«|>n P-fl of the thirteenth of 

of the year both with that in which j^^^^^ ^^ ^^^ 7^) .^ ^^ g. Ensebius 

the Alexandrian Martyrs are cele- ^^o kid down his Ufe in the pesti- 

brated, and with the real time at lence. 

which the plague was at its height, 2 Euseb. H. E. viL 22. 
(f. e. about the beginning of Lent) 
there can be little doubt that the 


sumamed from liis native city^ Samosata,^ (it was situated near 
the Euphrates under Taurus^ and is now called Sempsat^) had 
been raised^ about the year 261^ to the Chair of Antioeh. He 
had not long enjoyed that dignity^ when being consulted by the 
famous Zenobia^ in whose power the East then almost entirely 
lay, on the doctrines of Christianity, he brought forward certain 
dogmas which, gradually acquiring form and consistency, ap- 
peared to the neighbouring Bishops nothing short of heresy. 
He taught that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, propounds a 

'^ ' ^ ' new heresy*. 

formed but one Hypostasis ; that the Word and the Spirit 
were in the Father in the same manner that reason is in man, 
that is, without any real and personal existence ; so that, except 
by a latitude of expression, it is improper to speak of either 
Father, Son, or Holy Spirit, — ^but only generally of God. 
The Son, he argued, must be prolatitious and without hypostasis ; 
how otherwise, such was his blasphemous sophism, could He be 
consubstantial with the Father ? On any other hypothesis, he 
said, we assert three substances, and thus fall into a modified 
Tritheism. Nor was his life at all calculated to recommend 
his doctrine. He was arrogant, avaricious, and an affecter 
of novelties; — and the Presbyters of his own Church were 
thoroughly convinced of his tmsonndnesa in doctrine, and 
worthlessness of character. 

A Council was convoked at Antioeh to consider the question. • coondi is 

*. v'li-t' •!• «•• summoned 

Anxious to obtam all the assistance m their power on an affair at Antioeh ^ 

so momentous, and which might lead to the condemnation 

of the third Prelate in the Church, the Priests and Bishops in 

and near Antioeh requested the attendance of S. Dionysius and s.Dionysius, 

^ , "^ , invited, but 

S. Firmilian,^ as men unequalled in the East for theological «°awe to 

learning and piety. Dionysius, then on his death-bed, exerted 

his remaining energy, and addressed the Fathers of Antioeh in writes to the 

an epistle in which he vindicated the Catholic Faith : — and * 

doubtless, as Bishop Bull beautifully speaks, that divine soul,^ 

on the eve of departing to its Gon, divinely expounded the true 

Divinity of the Saviour. But the Epistle has perished* ; — ^and 

1 Le Quien, ii. 933, 4. * As, in this assertion, we are con- 

^ Epist. ii. Cone. Antioeh. ap. tradicted hy the great names of Baro- 

Enseb. vii. 30. nius, Tillemont, and Bishop BuU, as 

> Bnll, D. F. N. ii. 11, 11. well as by the authority of the very ablQ 




the supposititious writings of Dionysius^ which pretend to 
supply its place^ are a poor substitute for its loss. 

Hie Council met ; and Faul^ by artifice and a profession of 
submission, at that time escaped. The Fathers^ using the word 

Editor of the Propaganda Edition, 
and Dr. Burton, it will be well to 
examine the question. Two writings 
of Dionysius to Paul remain : — one in 
the shape of an epistle to him ; the 
other in reply to ten questions which 
he had proposed. The first of these 
makes mention of an earlier letter, 
which he had written to learn the real 
sentiments of the heretic. These 
writings were discoyered at the begin« 
ning of the seventeenth century, and 
printed at Rome in 1608. Yaleslns, 
Dupin, Ruinarty Basnage, and others, 
account them spurious: and, though 
the question is one of difficulty, the 
arguments against them appear tb us 

1. The Epistle of Dionysius which 
we have is directly addressed to Paul, 
and makes mention of a previous 
letter written to him. But the 
Fathers of the Second Council of 
Antioch, in their synodical Epistle 
to Dionysius of Rome and Maximus, 
say, that Dionysius of Alexandria 
wrote to Antioch, rhy ^tpiSva riis 

vphs irp6awiroy yfidrffos* It is answered 
that the letter now in question, con- 
tains no express mention of Paul, its 
superscription being merely Aioj^<rto9, 
Mat ol avfi-wp^fffiiuT^poi rijs *EKfcAi}(rfaf 
'AAe|ay8pccas, iy Kvpi^ ;^a{pciy. But 
this does not satisfy the strong expres- 
sions of the Council ; the letter men- 
tioned by them cannot have been 
addressed to Paul, otherwise their 
language would be calculated to mis- 
lead. And, as they affixed a copy 
of this letter to their own epistle, tiie 
perusal of it, if identical with that 
which is now in question, would have 
convicted them of exaggeration. 

2. The writer of these Episfles does 
not seem to have had a very clear 
conception of the real doctrines of 
Paul. Judging from his compontion, 
that heretic must have taught that in 
our LoBD there were Two Hypostases, 
Two Christs, Two Sons : one. of 
the Fathsa, begotten before aU 
worids, the other of S. Mary, and 
not existing till receiving an exis- 
tence from her. This ia, or approxi- 
mates indistinguishably to, Nestorian- 
ism ; — and, therefore, it is probaUe 
that this letter was written after the 
Council of Ephesus; — and, perhaps, 
intended as a pious fraud to support 
Catholic Truth. This is Ceillier's argu- 
ment (ill. 277) : but, we confess, that 
though well put by itself, it does not 
seem tons irrefragable. Tothe question, 
how could Paul at once have taught that 
Christ was prolatitious and without 
hypostasis, and yet that He bad Two 
hypostases, Garniw's solution in 'his 
dissertation on Nestorianism, prefixed 
to his Edition of Marius Mercator, 
appears more ingenious than proba- 
ble. He imagines that Paul contem- 
plated a double state in the Word, 
one immanent, — ^to use the language of 
the Schools, — the other transient 
(iyHidBtrov and irpo^pueoy): that while 
He was in the Father, He had, ac- 
cording to Fftul, no other hypostasis 
than the Father's; that when He 
was sent on earth. He began to possess 
a different hypostasis ; but tliat when, 
having accomplished His work. He 
returned to the Father, He again 
was, so to speak, swallowed up and 
lost in the Hypostasis of God. This 
doctrine, a mixture of Kestorianism 
and Sabellianism, not only reconciles 
the supposed letter of S. Dionysius 




consubstantud in the same sense that Paul had affixed to it, con- 
demned it, as it is generally believed : at the same time that they 
set forth the SAViotra^s Divinity in the strongest and simplest 
terms. Bat four years later, the heterodoxy and malpractices 
of Paul being now undeniable, he was condemned and deposed ; 
and Domnus substituted in his place. 

While the first Council of Antioch was yet in deUberation, 
Dionysius was called to the joy of his Lord. In the February and^ieparts 
of 265 he fell asleq>^; and left behind him the reputation of ^^^-o'^ar. 

With the accmmts of Philastrios and 
S. Epiphanius ; bat luis been thought 
to explain and to harmonize with the 
passages of S. Athanasius, in which 
he adverts to the heresy of Paul of 

3. But if, notwithstanding this ez- 
planatiasi, any suspicion arises from the 
preceding objection, that the letter of 
S. Dionysius is in reality the work of 
some anti-Nestorian writer, that sus- 
picion is very much strengthened 
when we observe that the title B€ot6kos 
is six times in it applied to S. Mary. 
It is granted that this word was used 
long before the time of S. Dion3rBius ; 
by Origen, for example, (Socrates, 
H. £. yii. 32. Origen, in S. Luc. i. 43.) 
and more particularly in the Church 
of Alexandria (Ed. Propagand. Prsef. 
p. 117 ; Fabricius, fi. O. v. 236,) and, no 
long time after Dionysius, by S. Alex- 
ander, (Theodoret, H. E. L 4,J and, 
as is well known, by S. Athanasius. 
Bnt an occasional use of this name is 
all that can be proved before the 
Council of Ephesus ; and is very dif- 
ferent from its adoption, six times, in 
the course of one epistle of no very 
great length,-— k thing of which the 
writings of no other ante-Ephesine 
Father can furnish an example. 

4. A very strong argument to the 
same end, is this. In tins epistle 
Dionysius expressly applies the word 
Consubstantial to the Son of God ; 
and speaks in the strongest possible 


terms of His Divinity. Is it likely 
that S. Athanasius, when he wrote the 
treatise to which we have often 
referred, in defence of the orthodoxy 
of Dionysius, could have been ignorant 
of, or could have forgottoi, these 
passi^^es? Yet he nowhere ^ quotes 
them ; and granting that he was then 
obliged to write in some obscure place, 
where he could not procure the epistle 
in question, he would surely have 
referred to it as existing. 

5. The same argument, though less 
strongly, applies to the Epistle of 
S. Basil to Maximns, to which we 
have already referred. 

6. It is urged, and it is not denied, 
that the style of this letter differs 
from that of the other works of 
Dionysius ; that the Scriptural argu- 
ments appear weak, and the quo- 
tations not apposite. On the whole, 
then, we are justified in concluding, 
(notwithstanding tiie able attempt of 
the Propaganda Editor to prove the 
contrary, and his success in shewing, 
from an old Latin version, that they are 
of great antiquity,) that the Epistles 
to Paul of Samosata are not really the 
composition of S. Dionysius. 

^ We have already given our reasons 
(p. 39, note *) for this date. It is 
singular^ however, that by no Church 
is he commemorated in February. 
The Roman Martyrology assigned 
Nov. 17, the Greek Menology, Oct 
3, to his memory: in the Coptic 



peerless learnings unshaken orthodoxy^ and a character that well 
entitled him to his usual appellation of the Great. 

Writings of The loss of the writings of Dionysius is one of the greatest 
that has been suiBTered by Ecclesiastical History. Besides those 
that we have noticed, fragments of a Commentary on Eocle* 
siastes, and of a treatise against the Epicureans, on Nature^ 

bit eanoni- remain to us : besides an Epistle to Basileides. which is received 

cai epistle to . . , 

Basu«ide8. by the Oriental Church into its body of Canons. Basileides, 
a Bishop in Pentapolis, had asked Dionysius at what hour the 
Lent fast ended. At Rome, it appears, it did not conclude till 
cock-crow on Easter morning ; in Egypt, it finished on the even- 
ing of Saturday. The Patriarch observes, that to fix the time 
exactly was impossible ; that those are to be commended who 
keep vigil till the fourth watch, while they are not to be blamed 
who are compelled, by the weakness of their bodies, to repose 
themselves earlier ; that the fast, however, was not at an end 
till Saturday midnight. He observes that some passed six days 
of Holy Week without eating, — some four, some three, some 
two, some not one ; and while he lays down no specific rule, that 
he disapproves the conduct of those who make good cheer on 
the first four days, and think to compensate it by a strict fast on 
the Friday and Saturday. This canon exemplifies the wonderful 
rigour of these earlier ages, both in making mention of some 
who abstained from food during the whole week, and in simply 
not imputing it as a fault if any, compelled by weakness, ate 
daily. The second and fourth canons concern physical reasons 
for abstaining from the Holy Communion, and the third is on 
nuptial continence. 

The great humility of S. Dionysius is conspicuous in the end 
of this epistle. You have not consulted me, says he, through 
ignorance, but to do me honour, and maintain peace ; you will 
judge my observations for yourself, and let me know your 
decision. We may remark, as an instance of the extraordinary 
power of the See of Alexandria, that S. Dionysius, though 
writing to a Bishop, addresses him by the title of Son, — an 
appellation not used in the like sense, even by Rome. 

Calendar, Sept. 14 is dedicated to may reconcile all accounts by sup- 

him ; but March 9 is mentioned as posing Philip to haye begun his reign 

the day of his decease. - If the latter not, with most historians, at the be- 

ihould be, as it may be, correct ; we ginning, but at the end of March, 247. 





Maximus/ whom we have already had occasion to mention as s.Maximi», 
the companion^ was also' the successor of S. Dionysius. The succeeds" 
uneyentful annals of this Patriarch prove that the Church of ' ' 
Alexandria^ after her long afflictions^ enjoyed some repose. The 
persecution of Aurelian either did not extend to^ or did not rage 
in Egypt. The occasions on which this prelate appears in Eccle- 
siastical History are two only. The first is in the superscription 
of the synodical epistle^ written by the Fathers of the Second 
Council of Antioch^ when^ as we have already seen^ Paul of 
Samosata was deposed. That letter is addressed to Dionysius of 
Bome^ and Maximus of Alexandria. The second is a letter^ 
written to him by S. Felix of Bome^ the successor of Diony- 
sius^ on the subject of the heresy^ which survived the deposition^ 
of Paul. 

Having governed his Church^ more than seventeen years^ bisdettOi: 
Maximus was caDed to his rest ; and some internal divisions, if 
we may trust an obscure tradition,* troubled Alexandria, which 

^ He is called Mazimmian byNioe- 

3 Sollerius, § 170. A fhigment of 
this Epistle was read in the Council of 

a Ensebins, (H. E. vii. 32,) says 
eighteen, by which, perhaps, he means 
more than seyenteen : Makrizi, (§ 98) 
twelye : the Chronicon Orientale, 
twelve years and nine months : Euty- 
chins (i. 392) eighteen: Nicephoms 
and Georgios Syncellos, eight, (per- 
haps by a folse reading^of ^ for i^) : Abu'l- 
berkat, more correctly, seventeen years 
and five months. The date of his 
death, 282, is fixed, as well by the 
context of Alexandrian chronology, as 
by the assertion of the Chronicon 
Orientale, that it took place on Sun- 
day, Barmnda xiv, (= April 9) which 

makes the Dominical letter A, and 
gives 282 as the year. 

^ This appears from Abulberkat, 
who, in the words of his translator, 
says. Post Maximum, nescio qnis Be- 
bnndensis factus est Patriarcha; at 
cum seipsum castr&sset, gradu dejec- 
tom, ideoque ex Patriarcharom cata- 
logo expnnctom dicunt. Quidam Beb' 
nudenaia is a false translation of Wans- 
lebius, for ''one Bebnuda,** — or Paph- 
nutius. This story is confirmed by the 
Chronicon Orientale, that the See was 
vacant a year, a thing which cannot 
easily be otherwise acconnted for ; — 
but is rendered improbable by the 
fact, that when the Jacobites, as we 
shall see, wanted a precedent for the 
deposition of Cyril ben Laklak, they 
conld find none. 



schiBm at were at lene^th composed by the elevation of Theonas^ to the 

Alexandria: . . . 

Evangelical Chair. The new Patriarch found his flock suffering 
s. Theonas, from a local persecution ; but he courageously exposed himself 
A.D.'38s. " to public observation : and at lengthy if we may believe Euty- 
chius^ obtained leave to build a church.' 

The Episcopate of this Patriarch was a time of much suffer- 
ing to the Egyptians. In its ninth year,^ Achilleus assumed 
the purple at Alexandria, and held it for six years. The city 
was taken by Diocletian after an eight months' siege : its walls 
were levelled with the ground^ and the usurper and many who 
had favoured^ or were suspected of favouring^ his interests^ 
put to death. The whole of Egypt suffered severely : death, 
exile, and fine were inflicted on many of the principal inhabi* 
tants in its various cities. 

We possess an Epistle* of Theonas ; — ^and the prudence and 
piety which it exhibits may well make us deplore that we have 
but one. It was apparently written towards the beginning of 
the reign of Diocletian, and is addressed to Lucian, chief of the 
gentlemen of the bed-chambw. " The peace/' says the Bishop, 
" which the Churches now enjoy, is granted to this end ; that 

assumes the 

S. llieonas 
writes to 

^ The iBthiopic Calendar calls him 

'tCD^rfl! Pococke, by a fault in 
the MS. of Eutychins, Neron, (Com- 
pare Eutychius i. 399, with Renaudot 
63). See also Cnperus the Bollandist 
(August, iv. 397). 

3 Eutychius i. 397. He adds that 
it was dedicated in honour of S. Mary, 
and Severus asserts that it was called 
Tamaoutha, that is, as Renaudot con- 
jectures, 6a6fiaTaf from the miracles 
performed there, though others, as the 
editor of S. Dionysius, explain it to 
mean, the Mother of God. The Ethio- 
pians speak of it as a tower. But it is 
difficult to believe that such a dedica- 
tion took place at so early a period. 
The tradition, however, was very 
widely credited; and the Ethiopic 
Calendar on the second of June, cele- 
brates, as a great festival, ^ P rt,: 
n.'t': 0^CJP90; the Dedica- 

tion of the Temple of Mary. Cnpems 
agrees with these authorities. 

» Pagi. Critic. 296. vii. 

* This Epistle, which only exists in a 
Latin Translation, was first published 
by D*Achery in the zii. volume of his 
Specilegium (p. 645). It bears as its 
title, AnSputle of Theonas theBiskcp, 
D'Achery himself did not believe it to 
have been the writing of the Bishop of 
Alexandria, but his reasons are not 
strong : the principal being an argu- 
ment from the hostility of Diocletian 
to the Christian name, and the oon- 
aequent improbability of his having 
Christian ooartien. But at the begin- 
ning of his reign, Diocletian, as every 
one knows, favoured the Christians. 
.Cuperus seems to have demonstrated 
the great probability (to say the least) 
that the letter was written by Theonas 
of Alexandria, § iii. It is given in 
Routh's Reliquiie Sacrae, voL iii p. 
307, seq., 1st edition. 


the good works of Christians may shine out before infidels^ and 
that thence our Father^ Which is in heaven^ may be glorified. 
This should be our chief end and aim^ if we would be Christians 
in deed^ and not in word only. For^ if we seek our own glory, 
we desire a vain and perishable thing : but the glory of the 
Father and of the Son, Who for us was nailed to the Cross, 
saves us with an eyerlasting redemption, — that great expectation 
of Christians. I neither think therefore, nor wish, my Lucian, 
that you should boast, because many in the Court have come, 
by your means, to the knowledge of the truth : you should 
rather give thanks to God, Who hath chosen you as a good 
instrument to a good result, and hath given you favour in the 
sight of the Prince, to the end that you should spread abroad 
the savour of the Christian name, to His glory and to the 
salvation of many.'' Having dwelt on the necessity of avoiding 
every thing that might cast a stumbHng block in the way of 
Diocletian, " (xon forbid,'' he proceeds, ^'that you should sell to oJ^ch,^^ 
any the entry of the Palace, or receive a bribe to suggest what **" courtier: 
is unseemly to the Emperor's ear. Put away from you all 
avarice, which worketb idolatry, rather than the Christian 
religion. Unworthy gain, and duplicity is much unbefitting 
him who embrace^ Christ, the Poor and the Simple. Let 
there be no evil speaking, nor immodest language among yo^. 
Let all things be done with kindness, courtesy, and justice : that 
in all things the Name of our God and Lord Jesus Christ 
may be magnified. Fulfil the duties to which you are severally 
appointed with fear towards God, and love towards the Emperor, 
and exactness and diligence. Account that all commands of the 
Prince, which offend not against those of God, proceed from 
God Himself, Put on patience as a robe : be filled with virtue 
apd the hope of Christ." 

He then proceeds to the particular duties of those whom he is 
addressing :— one of whom, it appears, had the charge of the 
privy purse ; — ^another of the wardrobe, — ^a third of the gold and 
silver vessels. The post of Ubrarian was not yet filled up : but 
the Bishop gives directions, in case a Christian should be nomi- 
nated to it, for the proper discharge of that function. The libra- 
rian should acquaint himself with the principal orators, poets, and 
historians of antiquity. He should, as occasion served, intro- 



[book U 

his death. 
A. D. 300. 

duce the mention of the Septuagint as a book that had attracted 
the attention of a King of Egypt, and might not be unworthy 
the perusal of an Emperor of Borne. The books which Diocle- 
tian most frequently read should be well arranged, and trans- 
cribed from the most correct copies, or amended by learned men ; 
they should be handsomely, but not sumptuously, written, and the 
affectation of purple membranes and gold letters, (unless the Em- 
peror expressly commanded it,) should be avoided. The Bishop 
concludes with general exhortations for behaviour towards Dio- 
cletian, for cheerfulness, submission, and the utmost complai- 
sance that the Law of (jod did not forbid ; — ^at the same time, 
retirement must be found for prayer, and for the reading of the 
Scriptures, " which will enable you,'^ — thus the letter concludes, 
— '^ to fulfil your duties in the love of Christ, and to despise all 
things transitory for the sake of His Eternal Promises, and shall 
conduct you to the attainment of everlasting feUcity.*' 

History records nothing further of this Prelate^ : he was sum- 
moned from his labours towards the beginning of January, 
300^ ; and was sumamed by his people The Column of the 
Church.^ The Alexandrian school, during his time under the 
management of Peter, the succeeding Patriarch, still retained its 
fame, as it had done since the Mastership of S. Dionysius, under 
the succession of Clemens II., Pierius, Theognostus, and Serapion. 

^* The Arabic writers will have it 
that, in his time, Sabellius the heresi- 
arch came to Alexandria! and entering 
the church in which the Bishop was sit- 
ting, challenged him to a dispute on 
the Faith, promising, in case himself 
were confuted, to return to the Catho- 
lic Church ; and requiring, if he were 
victorious, that Theonas should em- 
brace Sabellianism* The latter, think- 
ing such a controversy beneath his own 
dignity, committed it to Peter, one of 
his priests and his successor: and Sa- 
bellius loudly complained of the haugh- 
tiness of the Prelate, in not entering the 
lists, and appointing so youthful a sub- 
stitute. Peter replied, in the words of 
David, *'Thou comest to me with a 

sword, and with a spear, and with a 
shield, but I come to fJiee in the Name 
of the Lord of Hosts, the God of the 
House of Israel, Whom thou hast de- 
fied.'* The dispute began, and the Ca- 
tholic champion was carrying convic- 
tion to the hearts of all the bystanders, 
when Sabellius was seized with an apo- 
plexy, and fell down dead. The greater 
part of this tale is certainly &bulouB, 
and probably the whole is so : though it 
is likely enough that Sabellius may, at 
an earlier peiiod, as having been a 
native of Pentapolis, have endeavoured 
to propagate his tenets in Alexandria. 

3 Euseb. H. E. viL 32, close to the 

3 Ludolf, Comm. p. 404. note (e.) 



More particularly. Pierius^ enjoyed crreat reputation as a teacher 
of phiLcphy, id left » J/U.^ J^ on ™™u. .ab- 
jects, as to acqiiire the title of the second Origen. He surviyed 
the persecution of Diocletian^ and took up his abode in Bome^ 
where he died. 

One remarkable epoch dates from the Patriarchate of Theo- Era or 
nas. It is well known that the ancient Alexandrian Church did 
not reckon its years from the Incarnation^ but from the Era of 
Martyrs : that is^ from the first year of the reign of Diocletian^ 
that reign which sent so many Martyrs to Paradise. The Cop- 
tic Communion stiU employs that computation ; the orthodox 
Alexandrian Church has long disused it; exchanging it^ as 
almost all other national customs^ for the use of Constantinople* 
In future^ we shall employ both one and the other reckoning.^ 

^ S. Hieron. Catal. iL 915, Pnef. in 
Os. 6. zziii. zziy. 

3 Scaliger, as is well known, reckons 
the Era of Martyrs, from the nine- 
teenth year of Diocletian. Renaudot 
clearly shews that it is to he oompnted 
from the heginning of his reign (p. 
62): and so does SoUerius, p. 33.* Dio- 
cletian, as is amply proyed by Peta- 
Tins, Labh^, Pagi, and Bucherius, be- 
gan to reign Sep. 17, 284 : but the 
Era of Martyrs begins from the 29th of 
August of that year. Gregory AbuU- 
Pharaj is dear on the date of the era, 
p. 133 (84 of Pococke's translation). 
Renandot is certainly mistaken in say- 

ing that the Ethiopic Church nses 
the same computation, and calls it the 
Era of Grace. He quotes Ludolf ; but 
Ludolf says no such thing. An Egyp- 
tian Ecclesiastic, writing in 1707» 

caUedit 11 C^: E(DZ^o^T: 

O^ih^'l'I that is, the Year of 
Grace, 7207. Now the Ethiopians 
compute 5500 from the creation of the 
world till the Incarnation : thus the 
year of Grace is here evidently the 
year of the World, however it may at 
other times have been used. Renaudot 
seems to follow Scaliger. 



[book I. 



Patr. XVII., 
A.D. 300. 
A.M. 10. 

his conse- 
cration : 

Bishop of 

Hitherto^ however illuatriously her Prelates had confessed the 
truths and however boldly they hiwl testified^ even before the 
tribunal, to the Name of Christ, the Evangelical Throne of 
Alexandria had never been filled by a Martyr. Of the other 
two great Sees, Bome^ could claim that glorious title for sixteen 
or seventeen of her Pontiffs : Antioch, for at least two of her 
Prelates. Alexandria was now to be counted worthy of the 
same honour. 

The infancy of Peter is, by the oriental writers,^ omamentecl 
with many fables. They inform us, that he was ordained Pri^ 
at the age of seventeen, and nominated by the dying Theonas as 
his successor : events unhkely in themselves, and not based on 
any satisfactory authority. From these authors, however, wa 
gain an additional testimony (were it needed) against the mis- 
statement of Eutychius, with respect to the Presbyteral College 
founded by S. Mark. S. Peter was constituted Patriarch, we 
are told by Severus, by the imposition of the hands of the 
Alexandrian clergy and laity. But that the laity ordained as 
Bishop, is evidently an absurd statement, and the words must 
therefore be understood of election. 

S. Peter's first act was not only attended with considerable 
trouble to himself, but was fraught with momentous consequen- 
ces to the Church of Egypt. The See of Lycopolis,^ situate on 
the northern boimdary of the Thebais, appears to have possessed 

^ Nothing shews more clearly the 
comparative exemption of Alexandria 
from the earlier persecutions, than the 
fact that at the commencement of the 
tenth, twenty-nine Pontiffs had already 
governed Rome, while there had been 

a succession of but seventeen in 

3 Renaudot, p. 51. 

3 Le Quien, U. 698. PUny, H. N. 

V. 9. Wansleb. 24. It is now called 

Siut, or Osiut, and is a Coptic See. 



some honorary pr&-enunence over the other bishoprics^ of the 
Dioecese of Alexandria. Alexander^^ who dnriiig the time of Theo- 
nas^ had filled that See^had distinguished himself byaworkagainst 
the Manichseans^ which still exists. His successor was Meletius, 
a man of far jdifferent character. He had ^r some time been a 
cause of scandal^ firom the crimes of which he was suspected, and 
at length, in some local persecution, or perhaps popular insur- 
rection, he renounced the faith, and sacrificed to idols.^ On 
this, Peter convoked a Council at Alexandria, by which the 
offending Bishop was convicted and deposed. Meletius, how- is deposed, 
ever, was by no means willing to submit to the sentence. Instead 
of appealing to another Council, he separated himself from the 


A.D. SOI :* 

^ S. Epiphanius, Hsr. 68, (where 
he is, unconscioasly, using Meletian 
docament8,)8aySyT£y Korh rrfp Atyvm-oif 
irpo^Kwr, Jca) Sevrcpc^ir r^ Tlirp^ 
r^ rrjf 'A\c{av8pe(« ffar& r^y ^pxt^^ur" 
Howiiv, And again, Hsr. 69, McA^ios 
b ri}9 Pdyinrrov hich @rifici9os ioiewif •hat 
kslL ahrhs ikpx^^''^^'^oiros, Renaudot re- 
jects these accounts as mere fidsa* 
huods, contrived by the Mdettans, for 
the propagation of their schism. Bat 
not to say that this does not seem 
a thing capable of invention, it 
affords some grounds for the rapid 
spread of the schism, if we allow the 
superior dignity of its first mover. 
For Tillemont*s hypothesis, it estoit le 
premier eveque de toute VBgypte 
(^ee S. Pierre, peuteetre par eon 
antiquity, fV. 3. ii. Ed. 1707,) there 
seems no ground whatfsver. 

s Fhotius' de Manich. Bibl. Coits. 
Cod. 270, p. 354. 

s This fiuit is denied by Basnage 
and others. They found their argu- 
ments on the silence of S. Epiphanius, 
who accounts Meletius an illustrious 
Confessor: and also in the fact that 
the Fathers of Nicsea, while laying 
other crimes to the charge of Meletius, 
say nothing of his Apostacy, which, if 
true, would have been the gravest of 
all. The account of Epiphanius is so 

evidently extracted from falsified docu- 
ments, that much weight cannot be 
attached to it: while the silence at 
Nicaea may simply arise from the 
difficulty at such a distance, (both of 
timeand space,) of convictingMeletius. 
Such arguments cannot avail against 
the express and positive declaration 
of S. Athanasius. 

* The date of the Meletian schism 
has been much contested. S. Athana- 
sius, in his encyclic epistle against 
the Arians, asserts that fifty-five years 
had then elapsed since its commence- 
ment. Baronius, and, though less de- 
cidedly, Tillemont, fix the date of that 
epistle to a.d. 362, which would make 
the schism to have broken out towards 
the end of a.d. 306. But Pagi, (306. 
xxix.)and the Benedictine Editors of S. 
Athanasius, prove incontestably that 
the encydio epistle was written in 356, 
which gives 301 for the date of 
the schism. As to Tillemont's argu- 
ment (V. 3, 381, note viii.) that 
this date is impossible, because the 
tenth persecution had not then com- 
menced, whereas Meletius had already 
apostatized, it is easy to reply, that he 
did so in some local persecution ; for 
such were not unfrequent during the 
whole reign of Diocletian. 



ndaes a 

Commimion of the Church ; and thus obtained the miserable 
renown of being the first leader of a schism at Alexandria^ as 
Novatian had been at Rome. Like Noyatian, too, he professed 
to separate himself from Peter, on account of the too great 
&ciUty with which the latter re-admitted apostates. 

To strengthen his party, Meletius took upon himself to ordaiiL 
Bishops of his own sect : and he consecrated as many as thirty, 
one of whom arrogated to himself the title of Bishop of Alexan- 
dria. Mdetius further claimed a total exemption from Patriar- 
chal jurisdiction,^ and pretended, it would seem, to confer this 
exemption on others. To what cause we are to attribute the 
rapid spread of his schism, it is not easy to divine : possibly the 
distance of Lycopolis from Alexandria, and the then recent acces- 
sion of Peter, may have been favourable to its growth. "We have 
already observed, that the Patriarch was the only Archbishop 
(till the conversion of Ethiopia), in his own Dioecese ; and thi& 
rendered the attempt of Meletius still more unjustifiable. 

The schism soon began to develope into heresy ; — and the 
monks who attached themselves to it, were foremost in this ad- 
his teneu : vancc. They are accused of Judaical observances in respect of 
ceremonial purifications ; of mixing dances and unseemly mo- 
tions in the service of God : of looking for a fleaven that 
abounded with sensual delights. It is possible that, in process 
of time, they were guilty of some innovation in the Form of 
Baptism : for S. Peter, as we are informed by Sozomen,^ refused 
them as invalid. 

Not content with the propagation of his sect, Meletius spread 
the most unfounded calumnies against his Patriarch. And 
these reports had a wide circulation, and enjoyed considerable 
credit ; for we find S. Epiphanius himself misled by them, 
he is Joined One of the principal adherents of Meletius was Arius, a native 
^ "*' of Libya.' This man, even then distinguished by his powers of 
argument and persuasion, in a short time reconciled himself to 

I SocrateSf H. E. i. 6. Sozomeiij 
H. E. i. 15, 24. Theodoret, i. 8. 

3 Sozomen, H. E. i. 15. Utrpov rh 
ahr&y pdirrurfia ii^ irpoffitfUifov, It 
seems impossible to take this as Baro- 
nius, (306. li.) following Nicephorus, 

8. 5, does, that Peter simply forliade 
the Meletians to baptize : because this, 
and so mnch more, was included in 
their ezcommnnication. 
s Sozomen, H.E. i. 15. 


the Church, and was ordained Deacon by S. Peter. But when the 
latter excommunicated M eletius and his partizans, Arius exclaimed 
against his tyranny, and was so pertinacious in his opposition, 
that the Bishop suspended him from the exercise of his office. 

And now the greatest and the last of the persecutions was 
drawing on. 

S. Peter had not sat fully three years, when Diocletian, ur^ed DiocieUan 

1 r^ t . ¥ */ ' * *j commences 

on by Gralerius, commenced the last and the most bloody perse- the great 
cution.i By a first edict, issued at Nicomedia towards the end edition : 

^ ' Feb. 23, 

of February, he commanded the demolition of the churches, and A.D.303. 
the destruction of the sacred books. A second rescript ordered 
the imprisonment of all Ecclesiastics ; a third, which followed 
dose upon it, the death of all that should refuse to sacrifice. In 
the beginning of the next year, a fourth and more stringent 
edict, against all Christians, of all stations whatsoever, was 
published ; and then the persecution began to grow tremendous 
in Egjrpt and the Thebais. 

Of these illustrious Confessors of Christ we must speak, not 
as their acts deserve, but as the analogy of history will permit. 
Eusebius was himself a spectator of the courage of some Egyptian 
Martyrs who were crowned at Tyre.^ After being lacerated with Egyptian 

1 1 iii»/»T -11 Martyrsat 

the scourge, they were exposed to the fury of leopards, bears. Tyre, 
and boars, and these animals were irritated by strokes and 
fire. But they either refused to attack the Christians, or were 
repelled by some invisible force ; and, as in revenge, sprung on 
the Pagan keepers of the arena and commissioners of the games. 
One youth stood calmly awaiting their onset, extending his 
arms in the form of a Cross, and occupied in prayer; — ^the 
animals could not be induced to attack him. 

Eusebius visited Alexandria while many of its inhabitants second year: 
jremembered the terrors of this period^; and professes himself in the 

Thebais * 

perfectly unable to recount the names of even the chief Martyrs. 
In the Thebais, more especially, day after day, month after 

^ In the chronology of this perse- ' Euseb. H. E. yiii. 9. The Martyrs 

cution, so far as respects Egypt, of the Thebais are celebrated in the 

Tillemont seems more satisfactory Western Church on the 5th day of 

than other historians : Baronius and January. Their number is reckoned, 

Fleury are guilty of several palpable in ancient Martyrologies, at 144,000 ; 

inaccuracies. and that of the Confessors at 700,000, 

' Euseb. H E. viii. 7. which seems a great exaggeration. 


months and year after year^ the execationers went on: fifty^ 
eighty^ a hundred fell daily ; the executioners were wearied out 
with slaughter^ and relieved each other by gangs ; in some in^ 
stances^ the axe was worn out by use ; aU kinds of tortures were 
employed : some were crucified ; some suspended in the air by 
the feet ; some burnt ; some drowned ; some were tied to two treesj 
bent together by mechanical force, and torn asunder by them 
when that force was relaxed ; some rent by hooks of iron, some 
with potsherds. The Pagans themselves took pity on the suf- 
ferers, and as far as they could, sheltered and concealed them ; 
but many Christians were unwilling thus to be deprived of the 
glory of Martyrdom. The apostacy, so prevalent in the Decian 
persecution, was now scarcely heard of ; women and children con- 
fessed Christ joyfuUy ; many were thrown into prison, mutilated, 
and dragged through the streets ; many looked cheerfully on 
the deaths of those they held dearest. 
Martyrdom The first of the Egyptian Martyrs under Diocletian,^ with 
Jan. SI. ' whose name and acts we are acquainted, was Asclas.^ A native 
of Antinous in the Thebais, he was arrested at the command of 
the magistrate Arrian, himself, at a later period, a Confessor oi 
Christ. On refosing to sacrifice, he was tortured with the iron 
combs till his flesh hung down in strips ; and even then would 
return no answer to the interrogatories of the magistrate. 
Bizanon, a professor of oratory, who stood by, suggested that 
the prisoner was senseless; on which 8. Asdas replied. My 
senses have not left me, nor will I leave the God That made me. 
The Confessor was removed to Hermopolis, and there subjected 
to the torture of the lamps ; until Arrian, owning himself con- 
quered, said. As I think, you are about to die. S. Asclas re- 
phed. Though I die, I shall live again. A stone was attached 
to his neck, and he was thrown into the river. He suffered on 
the same day that S. Agnes confessed at Rome. At the same 
time S. Leonides obtained his Crown. 

S. Apollonius, a monk of great eminence, occupied himself in 

^ Unless S. Mennas, whose whole ^ His Acts, which appear somewhat 

history is extremely uncertain, as also interpolated, are in Bollandus, nnder 
the conntry in which he confessed, January 21. See also Petrus de Na- 
is entitled to that honour. See Tille- talihns, iii. 16. Baronius, against the 
mont y. 3, 91. testimony of all the Acts, places his 

confession under Mazimin, in 310.^ 


visiting and comforting Ids brethren ; many were encouraged by 
his persuasion to stand firm. Philemon^ a great favourite of the 
people for his skill on the flute^ met him one day in the city of 
Antinous^ and began to revile him; the monk only besought 
God to have mercy on his slanderer and not to impute his of ss. Apoi- 
words to him. The gentleness of his answer so touched Phi- phuemoo. 
lemon that he hastened to the magistrate, and confessed himself 
a Christian ; the latter, unwilling to deprive the people of their 
favourite, tried to pass over the matter as a fit of insanity. 
Finding him^ however, in earnest, he condemned him, in com- 
pany with his seducer, as he termed ApoUonius, to be burnt 
alive. When they were at the stake, the monk besought God's 
deliverance from that horrible death. The words were no soon^ 
uttered than a moist cloud surrounded the pile and extinguished 
the fire. Arrian, and great part of the spectators, professed them- 
selves Christians on the spot. They were summoned to Alex- 
andria, and by the prefect's order thrown into the sea ; thus 
being supplied, say their Acts, with a Baptism which the 
Augustal little intended to give them.^ 

Notwithstanding the ferocity of the persecution at Alexandria, 
the tendency of the faithful was rather to over-rashness than to 
over-prudence. Both in Egypt and the Thebais, men of property, 
of rank, and learning, gladly renounced all ; came fcMrward to 
confess Christ, and were found among the Martyrs. 

The Confession of S. Theodora was att^ided with some re- of ss. rheo. 

dore and 

markable circumstances. She was of high birth, and equally nidymas: 
celebrated in Alexandria for her family and for her beauty. 
Euslratus Proculus, the judge, urged h^ not to disgrace her 
ancestors, nor to despise the rites they had used ; in considera- 
tion of her youth and noble attraction, he allowed her three 

^ The date of thia Martyrdom is it ApolloBins is said to hate been a 

much disputed ; and there is much con* reader, who V^as equaUy afraid to apos- 

fiuion in the facts. That S. Philemon tatize, and to endure Martyrdom. H« 

suffered under Diocletian seems clear therefore gave Philemon a sum of 

from the consent of the best Martyr- money, in order that the latter might 

ologlesw Bolkmdns, Jan. 28. See also personate him^ and saciifioe iA liis 

Rufinus, De Vit. Patt cap. 19; name. Philemon casoe before the 

Roinart, 486. There is another magistrate with this design; but in 

account of this event, preserved by his very presence was persuaded of 

Simeon Metaphrastes ; but, from the the truth of the Christian region, 

known character of that writer, less professed himself a Christian, and 

worthy of credit than the above. In suffered Martyrdom. 


days to make her recantation. On the expiration of that term^ 
finding her still resolute^ the judge ordered that she should be 
conveyed to one of those sinks of iniquity with which Alexandria 
abounded^ and tauntingly inquired^ whether the God Whom 
she worshipped could now save her ? Theodora, on entering 
the place^ prayed that He Who had delivered S. Peter from 
prison would be plealsed to manifest His Power in preserving her 
from all contamination. A Christian, named Didymus, who 
had heard the sentence, disguised himself as a soldier, and 
entering the house, was admitted to the chamber where the 
prisoner was confined, when he discovered his true design, by 
urging her to take his military cloak and cap, and, under that 
disguise, to make her escape. She did so ; and in the course of 
an hour, a Pagan having come in, was astonished at finding a 
man, seated by himself. Having heard much of the miracles 
wrought by the Saviour, he cried out that a woman had here 
been changed into a man, and fled with consternation. The 
Augustal Prefect, informed of the truth, threatened to put 
Didymus to the torture if he refused to discover where S. 
Theodora was. The prisoner repUed that he knew not : this only 
he knew, that she was a servant of the Most High Ood, Who 
had preserved her spotless. The judge commanded him to 
sacrifice, and threatened him with double punishment, as a 
Christian, and as having abetted the escape of a prisoner. 
Finding him firm, he ordered that he should be beheaded. As 
Didymus was being conveyed to the place of execution, S. 
Theodora, hearing what had passed, hastened to the spot, and 
disputed with him the guilt of disobeying the laws, and the 
glory of Martyrdom. They were beheaded together ; and are 
together reckoned among the Saints. 
kStotS'* ^^ violence of the persecution was lulled for a short time by 
JSfmtion'*^® abdication of Diocletian and Maximian. Galerius and 
afDiode- Constantius succeeded to the purple : but the former possessed 
all the real authority, and his nephew DaJia, one of the Csesars, 
who had adopted the name of Maxbnin, a young man of 
semi-barbarous extraction, had the government of the East. 
He prided himself as being the most vigorous opponent of 
Christianity that had yet appeared. The persecution then 
recommenced with redoubled fury. 


Phileas,^ Bishop of Thmuis, one of the most important Fourth year: 
cities of Augustamnica Prima, now an inconsiderable town, renewed : 
and known by the name of Tmaie, came to Alexandria, probably ^i^t" 

^ r J ^exandria: 

to concert some measures with S. Peter for the government of 
their flocks during this dreadful crisis. While in the metro- 
polis, he addressed an exhortation to his Church, of which a 
portion has been preserved by Eusebius. 

'' The Martyrs,^' — so he writes, — " fixing the eye of their ws cxhorta- 
soul simply and entirely on the God That is over all, and wel- Martyrdom : 
coming death for piety^s sake, held fast their calling ; for they 
knew that our Lord Jesus Christ became man for us, to the 
end that He might utterly destroy all iniquity, and might lay 
up for us a provision for our entrance into Eternal Life : for 
He thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but emptied 
Himself, and took the form of a slave, and being found in 
fashion like a man. He humbled Himself, and became obedient 
unto death, even the death of the Cross. Wherefore desiring 
the greater grace, these Martyrs, filled with Christ, endured 
every labour, and all devices of insult, not once only, but some 
have already done so twice; and setting at nought all the 
threats, not in words only, but in deeds also, of the soldiers that 
emulously exerted themselves in actions of cruelty, they flinched 
not firom their resolution. What accoimt may suffice to describe 
their courage, and their manliness imder each torture ? For 
since all that would had full permission to insult them, some 
were struck with clubs, some with lashes, some with thongs, 
others with reeds.'' — ^The Bishop proceeds to describe the tortures 
inflicted on these noble athletes ; how some, stretched on the 
equuleus, had every portion of their body lacerated with combs 
and pincers of iron ; how others were suspended by one hand 
from the summit of a pillar, and in the tension of their sinews and 
dislocation of their joints endured a torment greater than any 
other suffering ; how others, torn with a thousand wounds, were 
thrown into prison, if perchance protracted agony might weaken 
their resolution. 

As Easter,^ in the fourth year of the persecution, drew on, S. 

* Rninart, Act. Sine. 473, who * Can. Pen. S. Pet. Labbe i. 955.— 

places the confession of S. Phileas Can. Orient. 334. (By this work, to 
after 306, as does Tillemont which we shall often have occasion to 



Peter was pressed by those who had lapsed to appoint them 
some canonical penance, and to re-admit them, on its accom- 
plishment, into the Church. Some had now been excluded from 
Communion for three years, and were anxious once more to be 
received as penitents; the rather, that their lives were still in 
hourly danger from the persecution. The Epistle which S. 
Peter wrote on this occasion is received into the canoua of the 
Oriental Church. In the Coptic Communion, it is inter- 
polated with directions for the re-admission of such as had apos- 
tatized to Mahometanism : — ^the Syriac Version is free from such 
additions, and contains a fragment on Penitence, between the 
Xlllth and XlVth canons, which does not appear in the Greek. 
The 1st Canon ordains that those who, after boldly confessing 
Christ, and suffering the torture, had at length yielded through 
the infirmity of the flesh, should, in consideration of the time 
they had abready been excluded from the Church, be received at the 
ensuing Easter, on condition of observing the then commencing 
Lent with extraordinary devotion. By the Ilnd, those who, 
without enduring tortures, had fedlen away, from the tedium 
of imprisonment, are enjoined penitence for another year. By the 
Ilird, those who had endured neither torture nor imprisonment, 
are, after the example of the barren fig tree, sentenced to four 
years' more exclusion. The IVth is not, strictly speaking, a 
canon ; but a lamentation over those whose apostacy had not 
been followed by penitence. The Vth appoints six months' 
frirther penitence to such as had feigned themselves epileptic, 
or had hired Pagans to personate them and to sacrifice, and had 
thus received a certificate of having obeyed the edict. The 
Vlth and Vllth treat of the case where masters had compelled 
Christian slaves to sacrifice in their place. The masters are 
condemned to three more years, the slaves, to one, of penitence. 
The Vlllth receives at once such as having lapsed, returned to 
the conflict, confessed, and came off with life. In the IXth, 
S. Peter receives to Communion, while he blames their conduct, 
those who had presented themselves at the Tribunal. They 
considered not, he says, the meaning of the prayer, '^ I^ead us 

refer, we intend the UriidXtoy r^f approbation of the Patriarch of Con- 
vorrrvs V7i6s, the latest edition of the stantinople, by Constantino Gkarpolaa. 
Oriental Canons, put forth with the Athens. 1841.) 




not into temptatioH^' ; they laid not to heart His example^ Who 
waited till His enemies came to take Him ; they listened not to 
His Voice, ^' When they persecute you in one city, flee ye to 
another .'' In hke manner, they followed not in the steps of S. 
Stephen and S. James, of S. Peter and S. Paul. By the Xth^ 
Clerks, hurried on by the same indiscreet zeal, are pardoned, on 
condition of applying themselves for the fixture to their respec- 
tive duties. But if they had lapsed, though afterwards they had 
returned to the conflict, they are received to lay Communion 
only. The Xlth Canon is an explanation of the IXth, and 
declares bystanders excepted fi*om it, who, during the examina- 
tion or torture of a Martyr, had fdund themselves carried away 
by a generous ardour of imitating him, and had confessed before 
the magistrate. The Xllth and Xlllth exempt firom blame 
— ^in opposition to the hard opinion of the Montanists — ^those who 
had paid a sum of money, and thus escaped confession; and 
those who had evaded it by flight. The XlVth allows those to be 
honoured as Confessors, and elevated to the Priesthood, who 
had been compelled by force to swallow wine ofiered to idols, 
or to throw incense on the altar. These Canons were ratified 
by the Quinisext Coundl. It is to be remembered that those 
of them which enjoin penance, pre-suppose three years to have 
been already spent in it. 

8. Phileas^ was now called to make good indeed his exhor- 
tation to Martyrdom. He was arrested by order of Culcianus, 
the Prefect, who was extremely anxious that he should be 

1 The date and locality of the suffer- 
ing of SS. Phileas and Philoromus are 
attended with great difficulty. Ac- 
cording to Baronins, they confessed in 
the first year of the persecution ; but 
there is no anthorityfor this statement, 
except a mistranslation of Ensebius. 
Bat S. Jerome says expressly that S. 
Phileas suffered under the same tyrant 
as S. Lucian: that is to say, Maximin. 
As Maximin began to reign in May, 
305, and S. Phileas suffered in Febru- 
ary, it must have been in 306, at the 
earliest. Tillemont and others make 
another difficulty. Culcian (S. Epi- 
phan. Hsr. 68) was governor of the 

Thebais when the Meletian schism 
commenced ; but Phileas suffered 
under him when he was governor of 
Lower Egypt, t. e., after he had been 
governor of Thebais, else he would 
have descended from a superior to an 
inferior government. If the schism 
commenced in 306, as Tillemont fixes 
iti this makes the Martyrdom of S. 
Phileas at least a year later. But we 
have already shown that this was not 
the case. Some (as, at one time, 
Valesius,) make him to have suffered 
in the Thebais. But this i^ impossible . 
1. Because he wrote his exhortation 
in Alexandria, just before his Martyr- 



his own induced to apostatize^ because he had acquired great reputation 
wiuithatof from the study of philosophy, was of a noble family, and 
mo** possessed considerable wealth. He argued with him at great 

length, urging him at least to offer sacrifice to his own God ; 
setting before him the example of Moses, who oflfered burnt 
offerings. Failing in this attempt, he inquired if S. Paul had 
not denied the Resurrection of the Flesh ; if he had not been a 
persecutor of the Church ; if he were wiser than Plato ? If 
conscience were his motive for refusing, did not conscience, he 
inquired, also forbid to leave wife and children in distress, and 
to disobey the Emperor ? Was Jesus Christ, he further in- 
terrogated. Very God ? How was the prisoner persuaded of it ? 
How could the Crucified be God ? The governor then boasted 
of his clemency towards Phileas, who thanked him for it ; he 
informed him plainly that had he been less wealthy, he would 
not have taken so much pains to convince him by gentle 
measures, but he was unwilling to deprive the numerous poor, 
who were fed by his alms, of their only resource. As he 
continued to argue and to entreat the Bishop to have compassion 
on his wife, who was standing by, Philoromus, a magistrate of 
Alexandria, who was present, inquired why the Governor en- 
deavoured to render Phileas faithless to his God, and how he 
could hope by the miserable persuasions of earth, to divert him 
from the eternal weight of glory, to which he was looking for- 
ward ? He was instantly arrested, and the two were, by the 
Govemor^s order, led forth to be beheaded. At the place of 
execution, S. Phileas, turning to the east, exhorted his hearers 

dom (tiffop o1hr» r€\9tw9fiff6fA€vos) ; and advice as to the reception of penitents, 

2.BecauseintheAct8yCulcian says that on which he was about to decide. S. 

he conld have punished him at Thmuis. Phileas, therefore, came dp to Alexan- 

But Thmuis was in Lower Egypt, not dria, towards the end of January, 306 ; 

in the Thebais ; therefore Culcian at the conclusion of that month he 

was then governor of Lower Egypt, wrote to his flock ; and on February 4, 

not of the Thebais. It is strange that 306, he received his reward. Eusebiua 

another point has not been remarked, speaks of Phileas as a Bishop that 

which seems to fix the date. S. Phileas suffered with S. Peter (H. E. viii. 13) : 

was absent from his See, in time of but there must either have been two 

persecution, and just before Lent. of the same name, or the historian 

Here are two extraordinary circum- must there be mentioning together 

stances, which seem to require an ex- the names of the Bishops of Egypt 

planation. Doubtless S. Peter sum- who had suffered in the time of 

moned him to Alexandria, to give his S. Peter, 


to watch over their own hearts^ to be on their guard against the 
great Enemy, to suffer for the Saviour, and to remember His 
own precepts. ^^ Let us caQ/^ he concluded, ^^ on Him Who is 
spotless, and incomprehensible, and sitteth upon the Cherubim, 
the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last : to Him be 
glory for ever and for ever. Amen/' On finishing these words, 
he and his companion were beheaded. 

In the fifth year of the persecution, the Prefects, wearied out 
by the interminable Confessions to which they were every day 
witness, began to content themselves with the punishment of 
mutilation instead of death. ^ Multitudes lost an eye, and were Matoation 
branded, and then sent to labour in the mines; and some son: 
experienced the same fate after having imdergone the torture. 
Among the most illustrious of these Confessors was S. Paphnu- 
tius,^ a Bishop in Upper Thebais, of whom we shall have in 
the sequel to speak more at length. 

In the following years,^ whole armies of the Confessors were 
sent firom the Thebais, and condemned to the mines in Palestine 
and Phoenicia. At one time we meet with ninety-seven, at 
another, with one himdred and thirty of these Christian heroes, 
sent into banishment ; and three Egyptians, Ares, Promus, and 
Elias, sealed the truth with their blood at Ascalon. In like 
manner, two Bishops of Egypt, with a Priest named Elias, and 
Patermuthius, whom Eusebius mentions as known far and wide 
by his charity, suffered by fire in Palestine. Thirty-nine Chris- Martjnrdoma 
tians, the greater part from the Patriarchate of Alexandria, laid 
down their lives at Gaza. And, towards the close of the 
persecution, four Bishops, Hesychius, Phileas,* Pachymius,^ and 
Theodorus, with many priests and laymen, were crowned at 
Alexandria. It would seem that this S. Hesychius was the 
same of whom S. Jerome writes,^ and who pubhshed a new 
edition of the LXX. 

^ S.Chrysost. Horn, in Mart Egypt ^ The Acts of S. Peter call him 

TSllemonty t. 3, 119. Pachoromus ; and add that the num- 

< Baronins, 310, zziii. ber of their fellow Martyrs was 660, 

> Eoseb. H. E. 8, 13. which Valesius (Euseb. H. E. ix. 6,) 

* We have already given our reasons seems to credit, 
for beUeying that this S. Phileas was 

a different Prelate from him who suf- ^ Baronius, 306, liii. 
fered with S. Philoromns. 



Towards the conclusion^ of the persecution^ an event happened^ 
which^ though somewhat uncertain in a few of its details^ is^ in 
its general character^ undoubtedly true. Mennas^ an Athenian 
of consummate wisdom and prudence, was entrusted by 
Maximin with the Augustal Prefecture. He used his influence 
and talents^ and^ it is said^ his power of miracles^ to propagate 
the Faith^ to which he had been converted ; and^ in consequence, 
H^mogenes, also an Athenian, was sent out to supersede and to 
punish him. The ex-Frefeet was cruelly tortured, but super* 
naturally healed. His arguments and constancy touched the 
heart of Hermogenes, and both Augustals, to the astonishment 
of the Fagansj did all in their power for the increase oi the 
Church. Maximin himself visited Alexandria, and condemned 
Md'sf Her" ^*^ ^^^ Confessors to death ; and at this time it probably was 
that S. Catherine^ suffered. 

In Cyrene, the Bishop Theodore^ was among the Confessors, 

1 Menolog. Dec. 10, Baronius, 307, denies the possibiUty of this, because 


mogenes : 

kzxIt. — ^zjz¥ii. In the 
Calendar, on the scune day, we have 
Menas; but then he is joined with 
Simeon Behor, of whom the Coptie 
Calendar says, that ha wai a Monk 
who suffered Martyrdom under the 
Mussulmann. But on the 4th of 

Oct., we have O^f f| : (Dih iX^^ 

Menas and Hasina : which last name 
may be a gross corruption of Her- 

3 Eusebius, H. E. viii. 14, mentions, 
among those who had resisted the un- 
holy solicitations of the tyrant Maxi- 
min, a lady of Alexandria, remarkable 
for beauty, wealth, and talent. The 
emperor used every possible means to 
bend her to his will ; but on her con- 
stant refusal, his passion for her would 
not allow him to take her life. Rufinus 
adds, that she had consecrated herself 
to Gop, and that her name was 
Dorothea. Baronius (307, xxxi.) 
thinks that this may have been the 
celebrated S. Catherine, more properly 
Hecaterina, which name, as derived 
from Hecate, she might have been in- 
duced to change. Pagi (307, xvi) 

the constant tradition of the Chnrch 
is, that S. Catherine suffered Martyr* 
dom : whereas Euseblus expressly 
affirms that the lady of whom he 
writes, was only condemned to banish- 
ment. With him agrees BoUandut 
(February 6), and Tillemont y. 3, iOl. 
The present fame of S. Catherine, as 
compared with the total ignorance 
that prevailed, for many centuries, of 
her name, is remarkable. Till the 
tenth century, no mention is made of 
her by the Oriental Church : in that 
age, we are told, one Paul, a hermit, 
celebrated her festival with great de- 
votion. The Crusades introduced the 
fame of S. Catherine into the West. 
She is not mentioned in the Ethiopic 

3 TheRomanMartyrology, on the 26th 
of March,celebrates S.Theodore,Bi8hop 
of Ptolemais, and on the 4th of July, S. 
Theodore, Bishop of C3rrene. These, as 
Le Quien (ii. 621) observes, seem to be 
one and the same person. There was 
another Martyr Theodore, a soldier, 
under Licinius, named by Eutychius 
(i. 427), and celebrated in the Ethiopic 


with a Deacon Irenseus^ and two Readers, Serapion and 
Ammonius. The Prelate survived. But none was more illus- 
trious than S. Cyrilla^ in the same city. When the burning coals s. cyriiia : 
with the incense were forced into her hand^ she held it motion- 
less, lest, if she shook them off, she should seem to have 
sacrificed : after this she was grievously tortured, and so entered 
into Paradise. 

8. Peter's life was spared to his Church as long as it stood in s* Peter: 
need of his care and protection. Like another Moses, he was 
permitted to see the good land into which the Lord was about 
to bring His people, though he himself might not enter there- 
into. He heard of the cessation of the persecution in the West, 
and in Palestine ; he received tidings of the edict for hberty of 
Christian worship that the dying agonies of Gralerius wrung 
from him, and then he was called to follow his companions, and 
to close the long train of Martyrs for Christ. In his company 
suffered Faustus,^ whom we have already mentioned as sig- 
zmlising himself under S. Dionysius,^ Dius, and Ammonius. 

It is remarkable, considering the high place which he held 
in the Church, as well from his office as his sanctity, that no 
authentic acts of his Confession have been preserved. The 
Arabic historian, Severus, gives an account^ which, though 
mixed up with some fables, probably contains a good deal of 
truth, and may, therefore^ be worth while relating. 

There was, he says, at Antioch, a Christian of some dignity, story of 

, -- Socr&tcs. 

named Socrates, who in time of persecution fell away. His 
wife I'emained faithfrd, and requested her husband's leave to 
to take his two sons to Alexandria, for the purpose of being 
baptized there. He refused, fearing the emperor's wrath ; on 
which she made her escape with them, and commending herself 
to God, embarked for Egypt. A storm arose, and the sailors 
gave themselves up for lost. The mother, imwilling that her 
children should perish unbaptized, herself performed the rite, in 
the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy 
Ghost. The tempest passed over, and the ship arrived safely 

and Coptic Calendars, on the 20th of ^ Euseb. H. E., viii. 13. 

July, and who is to be distinguished 

firom him who is known as Theodoras * Ante p. 67: and, of course to be dis- 

Tiro, and celebrated by S. Gregory tinguished from him who is mentioned 

Nyssen. at p. 47 and p. 80. 


at Alexandria; and^ as it happened^ at the very time that the 
Easter Baptisms were about to be performed. Presenting 
herself to a Deacon of the Church, she informed him of the 
motive which had brought her into Egypt; but said nothing of 
the occurrence which had taken place on the voyage. The 
Deacon laid the matter before the Bishop, who promised to bap- 
tize the children among the other candidates. When their time 
came, he was twice miraculously impeded: and calling the 
mother, he inquired what she had done. On hearing her tale, 
he bade her be of good cheer : God, he said, had already 
received her children; and the One Baptism could not be 
repeated. B«tuming to Antioch, the mother and her infants 
were burnt alive, by order of the emperor ; and stricter inquiry 
commanded to be made for S. Peter. ^ 

When it was known, this writer proceeds to tell us,^ that S. 
Peter's life would fall a sacrifice to the emperor's indignation, 
Arius, who had all this time remained excommunicate, requested 
several of those with whom he was acquainted, as well clergy as 
laity, to intercede for him with the Bishop. They did so ; and 
aSSthem^a* whcu they hopcd that he was about to comply with his request, 
on°Arius?^ he said with a loud voice, " Let Arius be anathema from our 
Lord Jesus Christ, in this world, and in the world to come.'* 
Struck with the vehemence with which these words were pro- 
noimced, none dared to plead in favour of the guilty man ; and 
S. Peter rising, and taking two of his disciples, Achillas and 
Alexander, apart, informed them, that the anathema he had 
pronounced was not the effect of any private resentment : that, 
on the preceding night, he had beheld in a vision our Saviour 
with a garment rent from top to bottom; that on inquiring, 
'^ who. Lord, hath thus rent Thy garment V he received for 
answer, "Arius'': that he knew therefore, that Arius woidd 
bring some great evil on the Church. He further informed 

1 The principal argument against ever, (p. 57,) does not seem inclined 

this tale is, that it is not mentioned entirely to reject it. Sevems is 

by any Oriental writer on the Dis> inaccurate, at all erents, because he 

cipline of the Church : though almost speaks of Diocletian as still emperor. 
aU of them, as is well known, regard 

Baptism administered by a woman to ^ See also the Acts in Surius, 

be absolutely nuU. Renaudot, how- Nov. 25. 


them that they should^ in tum^ be his successors : he exhorted 
them to oppose to the utmost whatever heresies mighty whether 
by Arius or others, be propagated, to shew themselves valiant 
and vigilant for God, after the example of his predecessor, 
Dionysius, of blessed memory, and his zeal against the Sabel- 
lians. He then bade them farewell, assuring them that they 
should see his face no more : and turning to the rest of his 
flock, he confirmed them in the Faith, prayed over them, and 
gave them his benediction.^ 

When he was committed to prison, the Christians collected in Martyrdom 
great numbers, determined to oppose the execution of the Imperial 
Edict, and prevented the soldiers from entering by the door. It 
was a stormy and rainy night : and the centurion took advan- 
tage of the noise of the elements, to throw down that part of 
the wall which bounded the cell of S. Peter. When an orifice 
had been made in it for this purpose, the Prelate, fearing that 
the design would be observed, and the Christians endeavour to 
to oppose it, made the sign of the Cross, and said, '^ Better is it 
that we should die, than that such a multitude should meet with 
evil for my sake.'^ And with these words, boldly stretching forth 
his head to the soldiers, it was struck from the body. At the 
same time, a voice was heard by a consecrated virgin proclaim- 
mg, '' As Peter was the first of the Apostles, so shall Peter be 
the last of the Martyrs."^ 

Such are the Arabic traditions of the Martyrdom of S. Peter. 
Eusebius simply relates, that he was unexpectedly arrested and 
beheaded. He is named by the Greeks the Seal and End of the 
Martyrs ; an epithet which is not literally true. For, even in 
Alexandria, SS. Cyrus and John suffered two months subse- 

Besides the Canons on Penitence, and the fragment of a Pas* 
chal Epistle preserved at their end, S. Peter composed a work 

1 Pagi (310. iy.) rejects the vision that is true. The story is also related 

of S. Peter, simply on the ground that by Eutychius. (i. 426, 7.) 
the Acts varias suppositionis et faU 

Mitatis notaa prtrferunt. This is very ^ Makrizi says, (§ 102), that his 

true: but is surely no argument wife and two sons were slain with him, 

against their also containing much which is a mere fable. 




on the Divinity of the Saviour, and another on His Coming. 
In the latter he confuted the opinion of Origen on the pre-exist- 
ence of souls.* 



S.Antony, Whilb the ChuTch of Alexandria was destitute of a Pastor, it 
pleased Gtod to raise her up a protector, in one whom we have 
not yet had occasion to mention, but whose actions had already 
excited great notice, and whose influence was beginning to be 
felt in every part of Egypt. We speak of S. Antony, the Father 
of Monastic Life. 
cededVthe ^® hsLYe already dwelt on the mystical temperament of the 
Therapeutae, Alexandrian Church. The natural result may be traced in the 
adoption of the eremitical life by the holiest of h^ sons ; and the 
case appears to have been so from the earliest age. Even under S. 
Mark, the Therapeutae had already distinguished their holiness and 
devotion, — and S. Frontonius,^ in the middle of the second cen- 
tury, had, with seventy brethren, led the life of a recluse, in the 
same moimtain tract which they had hallowed. S. Paul had long 
since betaken himself into the wilderness : and was still leading 
there his life of more than hiunan asceticism. At or near Anti- 
nous,3 SS. Julian and Basilissa, observing continence in the married 
state, had formed a double kind of hospital for men and women ; 
and there, when the latter had departed to her rest, the former 

S. Fronto- 

S. Pan], 

SS. Julian 
and Basil- 

* In the larger part of the Western 
Church S. Peter is now commemorated 
on the 26th of November, — because S. 
Catherine is honoured on the 25th : 
in the Oriental Church, generally 
speaking, on the 24th : by the 
Russian and Ethiopic Churches on 
the 25th. As the mere enumeration 
of the names of those Martyrs who are 
known to have suffered in Egypt, in 
the persecution of Diocletian, would 
have interrupted the course of our 
history, we have inserted them in 
Appendix A. 

' Bollandus, April 14. See 
BeUarmine de Monachis, ii. 5. 


^ See their Acts under Jan. 9, of 
Bollandus. There can be little doubt, 
that they lived at Antinous, and not 
at Antioch : and there seems to have 
been no such place as ' Antioch in 
Egypt,' which some of the MSS. men- 
tion. It appears certain that the 
numbers of those that followed their 
example are, by the same Acts, over- 


received a glorious Martyrdom, in company with several asso- 
ciates, under Maxizoin. And separated by the Bed Sea from 
Egypt, the still illustrious monastery of Mount Sinai even then 
existed : for forty of its inmates had suffered under Diocletian, and others, 
and their house had been temporarily destroyed. It thus appears 
that there were, at the time when S. Antony commenced his 
career, a few holy anchorets scattered throughout Egypt : but 
their number was small, their system undefined, their devotions 
uneommected, and it was not till the rise of Antony, that the ^^ ^.^j 
deserts of Thebais and of Egjrpt became the favourite retreat M^tfc 
and the principal school of monks and anchorets. ^®' 

Antony was bom at Coma,^ a village near Heracleopolis, and hib birth 
on the boundary of Upper Egypt, about the year 251. Educated ^'^' ^^'* 
at home,3 by Christian parents of noble birth, and considerable 
property, he was so completely cut off from the knowledge of the 
world, that he was acquainted with no one out of his own family : 
nor did he ever learn to read any other language than his native 
Egyptian. Christianity, during his youth, must have been protec- and educa- 
ted or connived at : for we read that he was in the habit of attend- 
ing with his parents the church, while at home he was a pattern of 
obedience and submission. When he had attained the age of 
twenty, he was left an orphan, with a younger sister in his 
charge ; and for some time he continued the same course of life 
to which he had been accustomed, and occupied himself with 
her education, and with the management of his estate. At the 
end of six months, however, while engaged in meditating on the 
readiness with which the Holy Apostles abandoned all things 
for the sake of Christ, he was struck, by hearing in the church 
the words of our Loan, " If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell 
that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have trea- 
sure .in heaven : and come, follow Me.'' At once he resolved 

1 It 18 not absolutely certain that And Nicephorus, (viii. 4,) &irb K^firis 

Coma was anytlung more than a cor- oCrto \eyofA4yris K»/ua. S. Athanasius 

mption of lu&firif antonomastically used does not mention the name of the 

out of honour to S. Antony. So OrtQ- place. 

Uus, in his Thesaurus Geographicus, 2 g. Athanasius, in Vit. S. Anton, 

thinks. Bolland. § i. 5. But after- i. 39. 
wards it was undoubtedly used as a 

proper name. Sozomen (i. 13) says, * Or a.d. 251, as others will have 

kyivero tk olros Aiyvirrios vtirh Kofjua. it. CeilUer, Hist. Gen. iv. 501. 


to follow the Evangelical Cottnsel: and parting with all his 
^wds"' ^** estates, which contained three hundred arurse,! and were noted 
for their fertihty, he distributed them among his neighbours ; 
that there might be no dispute between them as to right 
of possession. His other property he turned into money, and 
apportioned to the poor, retaining a small portion for the 
future wants of his sister. But, going a second time to the 
church, he listened to the words, " Take therefore no thought 
for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the 
things of itself": and on his return home, he distributed the 
remainder of his property to the poor, and placed his sister in a 
kind of religious house for women, perhaps one of those which 
had arisen in imitation of the Christian love of BasiHssa. There 
she prolonged her life to a good old age : and in her tum^ 
became the Mother and the Directress of many Virgins. 

Having thus divested himself of all earthly cares, he resolved 

on embracing a sohtary life. In its perfection it was yet 

entirely unknown : those who had adopted it dwelt in a retired 

spot near some village, whence they might be supphed with 

the necessaries of life. Such an hermit there was near Coma, 

and from him Antony derived his first instructions in the 

ascetic life. He made choice of a suitable retreat : and from 

thence visited the different anchorets in the neighbourhood: 

brace?t'he s^^^^^i^g with a holy cclccticism the various points in the prac- 

SrcfA D^*' ^^^ ^^ each, which it was his desire to form into one perfect 

*7i- whole. In the mean time he wrought with his own hands, and 

after supplying himself with bread from the profit of his labour, 

distributed the rest among the poor. 

Even while he dwelt in his first cell, he was exposed to those 
temptations of Satan, which have rendered his history a mark 
of scorn for the sceptic, of pity for the liberal, and of astonish- 
ment to him who believes in the wiles of an ever-present Enemy, 
and in the unseen might of an ever-victorious Church. He that 

^ From Strabo we learn that the was very necessary on' acoonnt of the 

Egyptian names were subdivided into inundation of the Nile, which oblite- 

toparchuBtVti^ these again into&povpcu: rated landmarks, and altered the very 

and that the latter were the smallest shapes of fields. This may serve to 

division of land, and contained each a explain S. Antony's fear of disputes 

hundred square cubits. He adds, that with his neighbours as to property, 
a minute and well ascertained division 


doubts the temptations of S. Antony^ must doubt every super- ub tempta- 
natural occurrence : must set at nought the testimony of wit- 
nesses never so numerous^ of holiness never so manifest, of 
historians never so judicious, of influence never so prevailing. 
We are not about to relate, far less to defend, these narra- 
tions. But none can doubt thus much : that a life, as completely 
contrary to every natural desire of the heart as was that of the 
Egyptian hermits, such. a total abnegation of every tie between 
the individual and the world, such constant danger, want, and 
suffering, days and nights so lonely, — ^and all this endured with- 
out the hope of human applause, because beyond the sphere of 
human knowledge ; — ^that such a life, we say, which is believed 
by all to have been practised, is far more wonderful, and far 
more contrary to antecedent experience, than the marvellous 
tale of the conflicts of S. Antony. 

For some time he dwelt in a monument,^ situated at a con- 
siderable distance from his native village. At the age of thirty- 
five, he resolved on a more secluded retreat. He would fain have 
had the aged hermit, from whom he had learnt his first lessons 
in asceticism, for his companion ; but the faith of the old man 
shrank from an ordeal so terrible in itself, and hitherto so wholly 
unattempted. On this, Antony crossed the river, penetrated, 
by himself, the wilder parts of the desert j and took up his abode 
in a deserted castle among the moimtains. He closed its doors, s. Antony in 

_-_, ,, .■!/» ^® Castle : 

and could not be persuaded to re-open tnem lor twenty years, a.d. 286. 
Bread was brought him half-yearly ; and he quenched his thirst in 
a spring that arose within the building. His fasts were most 
rigorous ; or rather his whole life was one continual fast. He 
never tasted food till after sun-set ; and frequently prolonged 
his abstinence for three consecutive days. His fame attracted 
numerous visitors from various parts of Egypt : he spoke to 
them from his prison, but would not permit them to see his 
face. Frequently his visitors were terrified by the supernatural 
and terrific soimds which issued from his castle : but the Saint 
bade them be of good cheer, and scorn the eflbrts of those who 
had been conquered on the Cross. 

It was now the middle of the tenth persecution, when Antony, he begins to 
overcome bv the solicitations of his friends,^ who were desirous cipics : 

'' A. D. 306. 

I S. Athanas. Vit S. Ant § 16. ^ s. Athanas., § 24. 


that he should form & monastic institute^ came out of his castle. 
They were astonished to find the same figure, the same counten- 
ance, that they remembered him to have possessed. His festa 
and hia confinement seemed equally to have been unable to 
afiect him. The miracles that he then performed, as they must 
much have cheered the faith of the Church under her heavy 
trial, so they induced many of her children to place themselves 
under the guidance of the great Hermit. 

Between the Red Sea and the Nile,^ and nearly opposite to 
Mount Sinai, the desert is intersected by two ranges of moun- 
teias which, running north and south, stretch themselves inter- 
ruptedly for many leagues. That to the east is now caUed 
Zafiarana : that to the west is known by the name Khalili. 
hteMomSl More northerly, and nearly opposite the ancient Heracleopolis, 
**'^* the mountains run east and west; looking down from their 

northern side, on the pilgrim^s road fix)m Cairo to Suez. The 
whole of this region was soon tenanted by holy anchorets ; — 
S. Antony himself founded his first, and more illustrious mo- 
nastery, towards its northern extrenJty. 

It lay nearly equidistant from the cities of Memphis,^ Baby- 
lon, (now Cairo,) and Aphroditopolis (now Atfich). On an abrupt 
stony mountain, situated at about thirty miles^ distance from the 
Nile, and only to be surmounted by the laborious zigzags of a 
winding pass, it received its name from the little town of Troy, 
which lay somewhat to the south of Babylon. At the summit 
of this mountain, repeatedly termed by S. Athanasius the inte- 
rior, were two small cells, hewn out of the rock, and here it was 
that Antony himself principally dwelt: his monastery was 
situated on the opposite, or exterior mountain, known also by 
the name of Pisper. These savage crags, the barrenness and 
desolation of the interjacent plains, the melancholy sound of the 
torrents, falling from rock to rock, till finally lost in the bibu- 
lous sand, seem to have impressed those who then visited the 

1 Bollandus devotes § 2 to the » Comp. Palladius, § 25. S. Hieron. 

description of the locality of S. An- Vit. S. Hilarion. S. Athanas. Vit S. 

tony's ceU and monastery. Of course, Anton. 78, 79. See Pococke, L 128 ; 

he labours under the disadvantage of Granger, Relation d'une Voyage, &c. 

inability to avail himself of the ac- 107. 
counts of later travellers. 


spot, as they do modem travellers, with the deepest awe. Soon 
the adjacent mountains were too narrow a domain for his fervent 
band of disciples : and, crossing the Nile, they began to fill the 
deserts in the neighbourhood of Arsinoe. 

Of his followers, many are still held in honour by the Church. His dis. 
Among these, the two Macarii hold the first place. The Elder,* or "^^^^ ' 
Egyptian, was not strictly speaking, a disciple, though he after- 
wards became the friend of Antony. The place of his retreat 
was the savage wilderness of Scete, eighty miles beyond Mount 
Nitria, and rather in Libya than in Egypt. Here he dwelt sixty 
years, and became the spiritual father of many anchorets, who 
peopled that desert. He was compelled by an Egyptian Prelate 
to receive holy orders, and saw four churches rise in the very 
heart of the desert where he had withdrawn himself. The 
younger, or Alexandrine, Macarius,^ originally a seller of sweet- 
meats, who was also elevated to the Priestly Office, had even a 
wider reputation than his namesake.^ He had a dweUing in 
Mount Nitria, another in the Desert, as it was afterwards called, 
of Cells, from the multitude of hermits that there had their 
abodes; and a third in that of Scete. In his power of abstinence 
and self-discipline, he was unrivalled even by Antony himself. 
There was yet a third^ hermit of the same name, who was placed 
by & Antony in charge of his monastery of Pisper : and who 
succeeded him in the government of his five thousand monks. 
Of no less renown was S. Pachomius, the first that committed a 
monastic rule to writing. S. Isidore was another of the ancho- 
rets of renown. He also was a priest in the desert of Scete : 
and was reckoned one of the Fathers of that wilderness. The 
like reputation was also acquired by S. Pambo, who, above all 
others, was noted for his diligence in mimual labour. Among 
the personal friends of Antony, were Sarmata, who was honoured 
by martyrdom in an irruption of barbarians, and Amathas, who 
ministered to the death-bed of the departing Patriarch of 
monks. And the great 8. Hilarion, a native of the neighbour- 

^ Sozomen, iii. 13. Socrates, iv. mm pnecipua, primas partes obtmens, 

18. BoUandus, Jan. 15. .... erat Alezahdrinus. 

> PaUadius de Vit. Pat. 8, 19. Bol- « See this point arg^aed by BoUan- 

landns, Jan. 2. dus, in S. Macarius the Elder, Jan. 

' Palladins says, Secnndus autem 15. § i. 4. 
Ktate, Bed in els quee sunt, monacho- 




he TlslU 
A.D. Sll. 

hood of Gkza^ was to be the first propagator of Egyptian Mo- 
nasticism in his native land. 

But at the time of which we yet write, these illustrious ser- 
vants of God were some in childhood, some in training for their 
conflicts and victories* We will leave them in then* deserts, to 
fight, by their prayers, and tears, and fasts, the great battle of 
the Alexandrian Church, on the relation of which we shall soon 
enter. When they have passed long years of hardness and mor- 
tification, we shall return to them again, and endeavour to 
sketch that life which as yet was but in course of formation. 

At the re-commencement of the persecution by Masimin, S. 
Antony, exclaiming to those about him, ^^ Let us go to combat 
ourselves, or to see the combatants,''^ left his mountain, and 
hastened to Alexandria, where he arrived just before the death 
of S. Peter. Anxious as he was for martyrdom, he would not 
expose himself to the tribunal, but he ministered to the Con- 
fessors in the mines and in prisons : he went with the accused 
before the judge, and he accompanied the condemned to the 
place of execution. Several of his companions imitated his 
example : and the Prefect, astonished at their boldness, issued 
an edict, by which it was forbidden to any monk to present 
himself in the hall of judgment, or to sojourn in the city. The 
disciples feared, and hid themselves; the Master, clad in his 
white robe, took up his position in a conspicuous spot, and 
crossed the path of the Prefect as he passed with his train. 
Deeply grieving that he had not been honoured with the Mar- 
tyr's Crown, and perceiving that the violence of the persecution 
was passed, he returned to the mountain. 

The last who fell under Maximin, for the faith of Christ, 
were the holy Martyrs Cyrus, John, and their companions.^ 
A* D?3%. Cyrus was a physician of Alexandria, who had improved the 

of SS. Cyrus, 
John, and 
their com- 

1 S. Athanas., Vit. S. Anton. 60. 

' See their Acts, by an uncertain 
Greek author, in Bollandus, Jan. 31. 
We foUow IMlemont in fixing a. d. 
312, as the date of their Martyrdom. 
It is true that most of the Martyrolo- 
gies make them to have suffered under 
Diocletian: but it is very possible, 
that by his persecution, is simply 

meant that which he began. The 
Ethioplc Calendar gives 2\n-l!C * 

CDP-ATfl ; J\qoT. : 

CD J\^rl1y : Abukir and John, 
Amogi and Athanasia. Abukir 
is, of course, Abu-Cjrrus ; but we 
cannot comprehend to whom or to 
what Amqgi refers. 

8ECT. XT,] 



opportunities afforded by his profession to convert many of his 
patients : under Diocletian he had, in obedience to the Lord's 
commandment, fled into Arabia, and had there become ac- 
quainted witli John, an officer of rank, who accompanied him 
back to Alexandria, and became bis guest. Hearing that 
Athanasia, a Christian lady, had been arrested at Canopns, in 
company with her three daughters, Tbeodosia, TheoctiBte, and 
Endoxia, the eldest of whom was only fifteen years of age, the 
two friends hastened thither, in order to console the Confessors. 
And they obtained a signal reward for their chanty; for, being 
themselves apprehended, and tortured in the most cruel manner, 
torches being apphed to tbeir sides, and vinegar and salt poured 
into their wounds, tbey witnessed a good confession, in which 
S. Athanasia and her daughters followed them. The latter were 
first beheaded : two days after, Cyrus and John in the same 
manner put on immortality ; and by their deaths closed thfe 


Aftbr a vacancy of about a year,' and doubtless, as soon as s. 
prudence would allow, Achillas was raised to the Evangelical a! 
Throne. We have already mentioned that he was a disciple of 
S. Peter the Martyr' : he had been ordained by Theonaa, at the 
same tune with Pieriua. It would appear that the friends of 
■ There ii muoh difficulty u to the phauim, (Her. 69), three monthii 
length of the tbcuusj, and the time 
thatAchil]as,orArchi]ia5,u the Coptic 
ludicM e*U him, fllled the Chair. The 
Cturanicoii of Eniebiiii gira ten or ilx 
year! (Ibr bath Dumbert are read), to 
hia Epiicopate. Theodoret aaja, jxtysr 
Xpi'" wpoirnj. Makrizi (who calla 
the Patriarch Arcbelaoa) allots (J 103) 
iix moDtha to him, aa does Several, 
and the Chronicon Orientale. Eutj- 
chioi (p. 407), aix moatlis. Fococke 
careleBtl; traiulatet, yean. S. Epi- 

bnt, with hia anal incorrectneaa aa to 
datei, that Father makes him loc- 
ceMor to S. Alexander. Gelotioa 
(Act. Synod. Nic ii. 1 .) givei tiim 
Ave montha. From Pagi aod Solle- 
rina, it would appear most probable 
that Aohilloi was consecrated after, — 
and probably, aome little time after, — 
July 36, 313, (t. e. in the seventh 
year ol Coastantine), and that he died 
June 13, 313. Sollerius, p. 44. 
> Euaeb. H. E. yii. 33. 



[book I. 

Sketch of 
the history 
of the 

Anus importuned him to remove the anathema pronounced by 
his predecessor^: and he not only did this, but elevated the 
future heresiarch to the Priesthood, and appointed him to the 
church of BaucaUs, abeady named as the oldest in the city. 
The Jacobite writers will have it, that the death of the Prelate, 
which followed shortly after, was a supernatural punishment for 
having violated the last injunction of S. Peter; and they there- 
fore exclude him from a place in their Calendar. If, however, 
Achillas erred, it was through ignorance : otherwise S. Athana- 
sius would hardly have commended him under the title of the 
great. Achillas only sat seven months. 

We win now for a moment cast our eyes on the state of the 
Church CathoUc. 

Diocletian and Maximian, compelled to resign the purple by the 
superior vigour and enterprise of Galerius, named, as we have al- 
ready seen, their successors; Galerius himself was nominated as the 
Eastern, Constantius as the Western Augustus : the Csesars were 
respectively Daia, nephew to Galerius, and sumamed by him Maxi- 
min, and Severus. On this the persecution languished, and finally 
failed in the West; and on the death of Constantius, his son Con- 
stantine, elevated to the purple by the soldiers, but contenting 
himself, for the present, with the more modest title of Caesar, was 
known to be most favourably disposed to the Faith of Christ. 
Maxentius, however, at Rome, declared himself Emperor ; and, 
to prejudice the army in his favour, associated his father Maxi- 
mian with himself. Severus, now Augustus in the West, 
marched against them ; his troops forsook him : he fled to Ra- 
venna, surrendered himself, and was put to death. On this, 
Maximian associated Constantine with him in the Empire: 
Galerius marched into Italy, but was forced to retire with dis- 
honour : Licinius was presented by him with the purple, and a 
hollow reconciliation took place between the six Emperors, Grale- 
rius, Maximian, Maximin, Licinius, Constantine, Maxentius. 
Maximian endeavouring to destroy Constantine by treachery, 
was discovered and capitally punished ; and the five surviving 
emperors were acknowledged equals. Gulerius, eaten of worms, 
gave up the ghost, after having issued an edict in favour of the 
Christians, which was only nominally obeyed by Maximin, and 

' Chron. Orient.—Eutycliius, (p. 407.) 


the persecution ceased every where but in Syria and Egypt. 
Then followed the civil war between Gonstantine and Maxentius : 
the apparition of the miraculous Cross ; the defeat and death of 
Maxentius ; Maximin^ burning to revenge his loss^ was defeated 
by Licinius^ and perished miserably : the Great Tenth Persecution 
came to an entire end : and to the joy of the Church, Constantine 
and Licinius were recognised as joint Augusti. 

But the persecution, though no longer formidable, had not 
entirely ceased at Alexandria, when S. Achillas was called from 
his labours. Two candidates appeared for the vacant Chair : 
the one was Arius ; the other Alexander, the friend of Achillas, 
the disciple of Peter, and a man generally beloved for the 
sweetness and gentleness of his disposition. The latter was s. Aiexau. 
elected by unanimous consent of clergy and people : and Arius,^ patr.xix. 
who could not endure this preference of his rival, determined to A.M.29. 
find some pretext for separating himself from his communion. 

The Meletians, who had not refrained from calumniating J^J*"®* *y 
Achillas,^ continued their accusations against Alexander; and^<^«ti^B: 
they even went so far as to lay a formal complaint against him 
before the Emperor^ : whether Licinius or Constantine be meant 
it is impossible to decide. It would appear also that Alexan* 
dria was troubled by a faction, headed by one Crescentius, who 
was schismatical on the proper time of observing Easter; and 
that Alexander was obliged to compose a treatise on the received 

As the life of Alexander was perfectly irreproachable, Arius 
was reduced to calumniate his doctrine. An occasion soon pre- 
sented itself. The Prelate, in one of his sermons, maintained 
the Unity of the Trinity ; and this statement was branded by J^^^^JJfJ,^^, 
Arius with the title of SabelUanism. If the Father, he^«i"»^»°»- 
argued, has begotten a Son, there must be a period at 
which the Son was begotten; and consequently there must 

> Theodorot, i. 3. * S. Epiphan. Hser. 70. Tillemont, 

* S. Athanas. cont. Arian. Or. 1. yi. 1. 365. 

3 Ibid. S. Epiphanius is straBgely * This date will necessarily follow 

misled by his Meletian memoirs, when firom what we haye said above, on the 

he makes Meletias not only to have accession of S. Achillas ; so that it is 

liyed on terms of intimacy with S. needless to refute the Chronioon of 

Alexander, but to have been the first S. Jerome, which places the com- 

to bring before him the true principles mencement of his Patriarchate in 320 

of Anns. or 321. 

I 2 



A.D. 319 :* 

be a period when He had no being. Hence it followed, that 
the Son of God was created by the Father; and Arius 
attributed to Him the power of either holiness or sin, maintain- 
ing that by His Free Will He chose the former, being equally 
capable, had He so. chosen, of the latter. ^ The heretic did not 
Rise of the at first dare to preach this doctrine ; it would have been heard 
with undisguised horror. But in private conversations he seized 
every opportunity of insinuating it ; and being respected for his 
sobriety and gravity, endued with great powers of persuasion, 
and in the decline of life, he soon foimd himself followed with 
eagerness, and -heard with attention. Thus it happened, that 
many were already seduced to heresy before S. Alexander was 
aware of the danger. In the meanwhile, the different parish 
priests of Alexandria, — ^for Alexandria, as we had occasion to ob- 
serve in the introduction, was, Uke Rome, divided into parish 
churches or titles, to which the different Presbyters were 
attached, — ^maintained different doctrines, and the faithful were 
distracted, divided, and perplexed by the voices of their teachers. 
The trumpet gave an uncertain sound ; and who could prepare 
himself for the battle ? It would appear that, at this time, the 
church of Baucalis, as it was the oldest, so also was it the most 
honourable cure ; it was in thfc heart of the mercantile part of 
the city, and Arius thence acquired greater influence. He was 
supported, among the parish priest^,^ by Carponas, and Sarmates, 
by Aithalas, Achillas, and his own namesake Arius ; among the 
deacons, by Euzoius, Macaiius, Julius, Menas, and Helladius. 
Alexander, seems, at the outset, to have hesitated as to his 
proper course; and a momentary appearance of irresolution 
encouraged the discord. The Arians exclaimed against him as 
a SabelUan ; some of the CathoUcs called him an Arian, because, 
in their judgment, he did not shew sufficient vigour in putting 
down the new sect ; and Coluthus,^ one of the parish priests, 
separated himself from the communion of his Bishop, and even 
ventured (not, it is hinted,* without simony,) to ordain Presby- 

and of the 
schism of 

^ Socrates, H. E., i. 5. Sozomen, 
i. 15. 

2 Sozomen, i. 15. 

3 In spelling this name with one 1, 
we foUow the rule giyen by Valesius, 
in writing on the word Coluthion in 

Euseb. H. E, vii. U. S. Gregory 
Nyssen (Lib. zi. cont. Eunom.) calls 
the schismatic Acoluthus. 

* Theodoret,i.4y and Valesius, note 5. 

• Le Quien, ii. Index, p. xiv. 
Tillemont, vi. 3, 774. 


ters, pretending that the necessities of the times justified him 
in this action. As schism is seldom unaccompanied by false 
doctrine, he further taught that God is not the Author of 
evil, which proposition, though capable of a CathoUc sense, 
is heretical in that which Coluthus attached to it : namely, 
that God does not produce those evils which, as punish- 
ments, afflict men.i The Coluthians were never a power- 
ful sect ; and in the end, by no imcommon change, the greater 
part of the followers, — ^for the leader himself, as we shall see, 
recanted his errors,^ — aUied themselves with the Arians.^ 

At length the evil rose to such a height, that Alexander was 
compelled to take some decisive step for its termination. He 
summoned a meeting of the clergy of Alexandria, and allowed 2?55|"J^ 
to all a fall Uberty of explaining and defending their sentiments. **^* • 
WilUng rather to persuade by reason, than to force by autho- 
rity, he refrained at first from giving his own judgment* : and 
the conference closed without any result, both parties claiming 
the victory. A second assembly, held with the same intention, 
equally failed of attaining its end. It was probably in one of 
these two meetings that Arius presented to his Bishop a con- 
fession of Faith,^ very simple in its expressions, and bearing on 
its face a Catholic sense : but so contrived as to be capable of 
perversion to the heretic^s own meaning : and which was there- 
fore rejected as unsatisfactory. 

The heresy every day increasing, Alexander, after a solemn 
warning to Arius to renounce his errors, and to return to the 
Doctrine of the Apostles, found that his only resource lay in 
excommunication. Assembling then the principal Priests of ?T°°**5Ji 
Alexandria, and of the neighbouring province of Mareotis, he ad. sao. 

* S. August Lib. de Heres. § Uv. * Sozomen, i. 15 (p. 32, 5, Ed. 

It is necessary, however, to make the Reading: — which we always quote), 

proviso in the text ; otherwise we run If this writer means anything farther 

into the opposite error of the Florin- by his expression, ir4irov64 n koI 

ians. S. Augustine, in § Levi, of the *A\4^ap9pos rairpwra, wri f»^v roirovs, 

same tract, thus draws the distinction ; ir^ 8e ixtlvovs iiraivQv, he contradicts 

'* God creates evil, by bringing just all other historians, and most of all 

punishments on man, which Coluthus Socrates, who hints, (but with little 

saw not ; but not by creating evil probability,) that Alexander, from a 

natures and substances, so far forth as personal dislike to Arius, acted too 

they are so : and in this lay the error ~ precipitately against him. 

of Flbrinus." ^ S. Basil, in Eunomium, lib. i. 4. i, 

> S. Athanas, Apol. cont. Arian. 289 (Ed. Paris. 1839).— TiUemont, vi. 

§ 80. (i. 156. E. F.) 1,368. 



Arias con- 
demned : 


proposed that sentence accordingly. The partizans of Arias 
made a show of defence : bat their efforts were onavailing. Five 
Priests and five Deacons only attached themselves to his fac- 
tion; thirty-six Priests^ and forty-four Deacons signed the 
sentence against him.^ Among the former^ Coluthus signs 
first : but this must have been a different person from the author 
of the schism.^ Among the latter^ the signatures occur of two 
that bear the name of Athanasius. 

One of these was already in the confidence of Alexander^ and 
Atbanasius : had giveu promisc of the highest talent. He was known by a 
treatise against the Oentiles : in which^ though the writer had 
not much exceeded the twentieth year of his age^^ he displayed 
such power of argument^ such acquaintance with Scripture^ 
such deep learnings united with so much wit^ and such elegance 
of expression, that great things were expected from him. Bom 
about the year 296, his tender youth had exempted him from 
the fury of the Tenth Persecution ; but doubtless, in the Mar- 
tyrdoms that he must himself have witnessed, and in the many 
more which must have formed the daily topic of conversation^ 
his mind was led to that energetic sense of His fiill and proper 
Divinity, Who was the strength of the Martyrs, that, in after 
times, wrought such wonders for the Church. He was tho- 
roughly educated in profane as well as in Christian antiquity : 

^ It is a question, whether the sig- 
natures of thirty-three Priests and 
twenty-nine Deacons, giyen by Gela- 
sius in his History of the Council of 
Nicsea, cap. iit (Labbe, ConciL ii. 148) 
refer to this sentence or not. Gelasius 
himself appends them to that encyclic 
letter of Alexander, which is quoted 
by Socrates (i. 3). TiUemont (vi. 1, 
474, note ii.) examines this question 
▼ery unsatisfactorily. It would seem 
on the whole, that Gelasius was in- 
accurate in this matter. 

3 The Benedictine Editors will have 
it that it was the same ; and therefore 
are compelled to put the schism a year or 
two later (B. E.Vit S. Athanas. 322,1.) 

' It is morally certain that at the 
time this work was written, the Arian 
heresy had not broken out: — other- 
wise, towards its conclusion, the writer 

could hardly have failed, from the very 
nature of his subject, to touch on its 
doctrines. But that S. Athanasius 
was bom about a.d. 296, is plain 
from these considerations. He tella 
us himself (Hist, ad Monach. 64), 
that he had heard from his elders of 
certain events connected with the per- 
secution of Maximian, — events, that 
is, which happened in a.d. 303 or 4. 
Now, had Athanasius been more than 
seven or eight years old, he never 
would have spoken of hearing of these 
things, when he must have remem- 
bered them. Again, he says (de 
Incam. 56) that he learnt the doctrine 
he there lays down from the Martyrs ; 
that is, before the end of a.d. 311. 
We cannot imagine him to have done 
so before the age of fifteen (B. E. vi. 
296, I). 


and Homer and Plato seem to have been^ in an especial manner^ 
his admiration and study. In shorty it might be said of him^ 
as it was of another^ that he '^ was learned in all the wisdom of 
the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and in deeds.'' 

Arius, on his condemnation by the Synod of Alexandria, far 
from owning himself in the wrong, was but the more eager to 
strengthen his party, and to procure, by fair means or foul, a 
reversal of his sentence. Finding that his partizans were out- 
numbered in the metropoUs, he excited, by letters and by 
friends, the other portions of Egypt. In Mareotis, especially, theArians 
he was successful; and in Libya, his native country, Secundus, increMe: 
Bishop of Ptolemais,^ Theonas of Marmarica, (the latter of whom 
is said to have been consecrated by the Meletians,)^ Secundus 
of Teuchiri, and Zephyrius of Barce, pledged themselves to the 
new heresy. Among the laity of Alexandria, great progress was 
made by the insinuating manners and plausible language of 
Arius ; and among the consecrated virgins he drew away great 
numbers. Alexander foimd that the struggle, far from being 
terminated by the decision of his first synod, grew daily more 
formidable : and threatened the very foundations of his Church. 
He therefore convoked a general Council of his province : and coancii of 
we now, for the first time, learn the number of . Prelates over a.d. 321. 
whom the Patriarch of Alexandria presided: the synod was 
attended by nearly one hundred^: and it would appear that very 
few could have been absent. Arius and his friends prepared 
themselves to the utmost of their ability for their trial; but 
notwithstanding the equivocal manner in which they stated Arius states 
their dogmas, and their ingenuity in so couching their sentences ^ °8^*®' 
as to be patient of a Catholic sense, they excited the horror of 
the synod. They stated, to use S. Alexander's own words, that 
60D was not always a Father : but that there was a period in 
which He was not so ; that God, Who is, created Him That 
was not from that which is not; wherefore there was a time 
when the Son was not, because He is a creature and a thing 
made ; that He is not similar to the Father in substance, nor 
His True and genuine Word and Wisdom ; — ^but when called 

^ Ep. S. Alexandri ap. Socr. H. E. ruv McAiriavwy* — and he may be the 

i. 6 (p. 1 1 y 20). more easily credited on any point that 

^ So S. Epiphanius (Heer. 69,) says : reflects discredit on these schismatics. 

— ^p 8i ffal dcwvas KwrourTadtis 6iri ^ gp^ g, Alex. ap. Socr. (p. 12, 18.) 


so^ is named so in an improper and lax signification^ as having 
His origin from the proper Word of God, and the Wisdom that 
is in Him, by which He made all things, and among them the 
Son, — ^for the heretics thus distinguished a twofold Word, and a 
twofold Wisdom.* One of the Prelates, whose zeal for the truth 
led him to put the matter in its clearest and simplest Ught, 
inquired, whether in the opinion of Arius, the Son of God could 
change, as Satan had changed^? And the heretic unblushingly 
replied. He can, because He is by nature not immutable. The 
Prelates, on hearing this and other dogmas, came to an unani- 
mous conclusion, and declaring Arius and his followers separate 
toematizi*" ^^™ the Communion of the CathoUc Church, delivered them 
over to an anathema, till such time as they should repent and 

Among all the losses that Ecclesiastical History has su&tained^ 

none is more to be regretted than the loss of a complete Arian 

account of these events, such as that of Philostorgius. Till we 

have it, — ^though it is not probable that such a work now exists, — 

Causes of wc shall ucvcr be able to explain that wonderful mystery, the 

progress of carlv prosTcss of Axiauism. A Priest at Alexandria, — and that, 

Arianlsm, J r g ,«„ « -ii- • 

too, a man branded as the follower of a convicted schismatic, — 
proclaims a novel doctrine : two synods are convoked against it 
and condemn it; and yet within six years, it convulses the 
whole Church from Britain to India ; and compels an Emperor 
to interfere in the restoration of peace. It is not wonderful 
that Catholic writers, more especially such as were engaged in 
the struggle, should have been so pre-occupied with their sense 
of the blasphemy of the new system, that they had no eyes for 
its plausibility. Thus, Alexander mentions with horror the 
dogma of Arius, — " There was a time when the Son was not, as 
being a creature and a thing made.^^ Doubtless the heresiarch 
replied, Dionysius also said, " As being a thing made. He was 
not beifore He was produced.'^^ jf Arius asserted, the Son of 
God is not similar to the Father in substance, — ^Dionysius had 
said. He is diflferent (we might rather say, aliert,) from the 

1 Bull, D. F. N. iii. 4. (Socrat. p. 11 , 30.) S. Dionysius :— 

2 Socrat. H. E. i. 6. Ka\ yitp &s irolriiAa &»', ovk Ijv irplp 
^ Arius : — Aih Kcd ^v Troth, Sre ovk ytptirai, (S. Athan. de Sent. S. Dion. 

^if. Kriofia 7^ 4oti koI irolrifAa 6 Ti6s. § 4.) 


Father in substance.^ And though the Catholics might re- 
join, and we may allow, and have allowed, that the Patriarch 
was speaking of the Son of God as regarded His Humanity, — 
or that he was merely stating the case very strongly against 
Sabellianism, or that, whatever he meant at the time, he gave it 
a Catholic explanation afterwards, for he never retracted it, 
the statement of the Arians would seem to a mind incapable of 
weighing evidence fai- more plausible than the laborious, how- 
ever true, explanation of the Catholics. This is but one instance 
of the manner in which we must conceive those in the Commu- 
Jiion of the Church to have imderstated the strong points of the 
Arians. There must, too, among the latter, have been much 
apparent holiness of life : and doubtless, among the earUer 
followers of Arius, much real conscientiousness. And here 
again it is certain that the Catholics, fully (and most justly) 
persuaded that heresy implies a wicked heart, spoke of those as 
notoriously flagitious, whose heterodoxy was the only proof that 
they were so. We cannot imagine that the people of Ptolemais, 
after having been governed by a Martyr like S. Theodore, could 
quietly have submitted to the rule of Secundus, his successor, 
and the patron of Arius, had he been at that time in appearance 
the villain that S. Athanasius calls him,^ and that he afterwards 
proved hii^self to be. 

But, after all, these considerations, though fiill weight be 
granted them, are far too confined to account for the instanta- 
neous stride of Arianism from the weakness of infancy to the 
strength of a giant. Alexander and Arius are not to be regarded 
as simply the heads of two contending factions ; but as the em- 
bodiments of two principles, which had from the beginning 
conflicted in the Church, but had never encountered each other 
on the same scale as now. That the tradition of the Church, 
from Apostolic times, was in favour of the teaching of S. 
Alexander, was sanctioned by the Council of Nicaea, and asserted 
the true and proper Divinity of the Saviour, is a point that has 
been triumphantly proved by Catholics of all ages. But it is 
not less true, that a tradition, disavowed by the Church, but 
still existing in it, an under-current to the recognised course of 

^ AriuB : — Ot^rc 8^ Zfioios Kar* obtriav oiaiav kinhv ^vai rov TLwrp6s. (S. 

T9» Harpl l<mv (Socrat. nbi Athan. de Sent § 4.) 

supra.) S. Dionysius : — ^ivov Kar* ^ 6 vayKdiutrros, Orati.cont. Arian. 


the stream^ had also existed from primitive times : and taught 
the opposite doctrine. It was this principle which^ assuming 
different appearances, but still acting to the same end, had in 
the first century broken forth in the heresies of Cerinthus and 
Ebion, in the third, in that of Paul of Samosata ; and now, find- 
ing the Church free from external tribulations, made Arius its 
mouthpiece. It was but necessary to strike the chord, and in 
every country hearts were found to respond ; the train had long 
since been laid, and the weakest hand could fire it. The creed 
of Arius was not heard by his disciples as something new and 
unknown ; they recognised it as the true and boldly developed 
expression of what they had previously held by impUcation, but 
had shrunk from acknowledging nakedly. It is easy to see that 
many of the texts quoted on both sides in defence of their doc- 
trine, could never have been so cited, had they not come down 
to them invested with a traditional explanation : — ^for instance, 
" My heart hath produced a good Word,'^ on the paii; of the 
CathoUcs ; " For we which Uve are alway,^^ on that of the Arians. 
And thus it happens that a City Priest has hardly been con- 
demned in Alexandria, when Egypt echoes with his doctrine; 
hardly anathematized in a Provincial Synod, when Antioch and 
the whole East is lit up with the controversy. 
Arionism ia For it was soon evident that the Council of Alexandria was 


insufficient to stop the evil. Pistus, a priest of Mareotis, who 
had apparently been condemned with Arius, was considered 
second only to him in talents and influence : and he was after- 
wards raised, by the heretical faction, to the Episcopate of 
Alexandria. The Deacon Euzoius, then one of the most 
zealous among the new party, attained, as we shall see, to the 
same dignity at Antioch. ^ 

But now a new actor appeared on the stage, who quickly 
reduced Arius, however he might still be considered the head of 
his own peculiar sect, to a second rank in the grand movement 
Eusebiusof that was troubUng the Church. This was Eusebius, Bishop of 
Nicomedia ; one of the most hateful characters whom history 
records. He was possessed of all the talents which were the 
most likely to give influence at court : an insinuating manner, 
a ready flow of eloquence, the reality of some learning, the 
affectation of more; an insatiable ambition, a conscience that 

» B. E. V. p. X. and Tillemont, vi. 2, 14. 


never stood in the way of preferment : a sanctity of demeanour bis chanc. 
so great^ that miracles were ascribed to him ; an inward depra- ^' 
vity so foul that he is accused of having joined Licinius in his 
persecution. To that tyrant he had rendered essential services ; 
and had even borne arms for him. Raised to the See of Bery- 
tus in Phoenicia, in a manner contrary to the Canons, and which 
gave some reason for doubting whether he had ever received 
valid consecration, he foimd himself discontented with the 
comparative obscurity of that city, though one of the largest in 
those parts ; and casting his eye on those sees which from time 
to time became vacant, he could find none more suitable to his 
projects than that of Nicomedia. Not only was this city 
reckoned the fifth in the world, ^ but it possessed the principal 
palace of the Eastern Emperor, which Diocletian had built 
there : and as the Metropolis of Bithynia, it gave considerable 
ecclesiastical authority. Eusebius had already acquired great 
influence over Constantia, the sister of Constantine, and wife of 
Licinius ; and this influence probably procured him the transla- 
tion that he coveted. The Faithful of Nicomedia had no voice 
in the matter^ : the mandate of the Emperor prevailed; and so 
flagrant a violation of the Canons as an unnecessary translation 
was allowed to pass unnoticed or imcondemned. For Eusebius 
was one whom no man cared to ofiend ; and they who did were 
sure, sooner or later, to rue his anger. He never forgot ; and 
never forgave. 

In what manner Arius and Eusebius had first become acquain- 
ted, it is impossible now to discover. They had long before the 
time of which we write, communicated to each other their senti- 
ments on the Divinity of the Son, and found them similar. Arius, 
as the more fearless of the two, carried his teaching to what his 
friend must sometimes have considered an imprudent length ; — hiafwend. 
nevertheless the league between them was firmly kept, and iri?i7[*'*' 
lasted till they were called to give an account of their evil 
deeds. In fact, Eusebius, after the character of the Eastern 
teaching, was probably the earlier inventor of the Arian system; 
and he always gloried in being a Collucianist,^ that is, a fellow 

1 Libanins, Or. 8. TiUeiiiont ex- * Theodoret, H.E. i.20, (p. 50, 18, 

plains the four cities to be Rome, Ed. Reading.) 

Alexandria, Antioch, and Constanti- ^ Theodoret, H. E. i. 5 (23, 9). 
nople or Carthage ; probably the latter. 


thinker with S. Lucian of Antioch, who, whatever might have 
been the orthodoxy of his own faith, (which he had sealed by 
a glorious Martyrdom) had the misfortune of having numbered 
among his disciples a great part of the champions of early 
Arianism, or rather Eusebianism. 

Arius, shortly after the Council, was compelled to leave 

Alexandria ; perhaps because he thought that the dissemination 

of his heresy required his presence elsewhere ; perhaps because 

who, he was banished (as he himself asserts) by Alexander.^ For 

banished . . 

from Alex- howcvcr extraordinary this power may appear in the Prelate of 
a yet heathen city, it is no more than was exercised, as we have 
already seen,^ by S. Demetrius, on far less provocation, with 
respect to Origen. The thoughts of Arius naturally turned to 

writes to Asia; but before leaving Egypt, he addressed a letter to Euse- 
bius, to acquaint him with the state of affairs, and to ask his 
sympathy. This epistle, which is extant,^ displays most fully 
the character of the two men. On the side of Arius, there is 
abject flattery ; falsehoods which he and Eusebius must equally 
have known to be so; the most unfounded calumnies against 
Alexander, and the most determined perseverance in his own 
doctrine. The unbounded vanity of Eusebius, his willingness 
to be deceived, his wish to deceive, are most clearly displayed 
in this letter of his correspondent. — '^ Your sentiments,^' he 
repUed,* "are just; — ^that which was made was not before it 
had been made, because its existence had a beginning.^' 

groes into Arius, ou this, went into Palestine, accompanied by several of 
his followers, and among the rest, by Carponas and Achillas.® 
Here his flattery won on many of the Prelates : he represented 
himself as one who ardently desired peace, but had been perse- 
cuted by his Bishop for the maintenance of dogmas ever held in 
the Church, and not invented by him ; he brought forward his 

1 Tillemont is probably right in * Ante, p. 28. 

imagining (vi. 2, 18), that Arius had 
his own reasons for wishing to quit ' Theodoret, H. E. i. 5. 

Alexandria, as Sozomen(i. 15.) asserts, 4 a., i. •i^ rn:n * u • vi. • 

„ . , J . 11 ^ J ^V • ^. ^ A.t least, if Tillemont be nght in 

But had he recollected the instance of 

Demetrius, he could never have said, 

ascribing to that reply the few lines 

-^, ... ^-A. .A, which S. Athanasius (De Synodis,) has 
of the banishment of Anus by Alex- j*ix*^ i;* v-^ 

.. ^ , , . preserved of a letter from Eusebius to 

ander, — " Quoique cela soit encore \ . 

plus difficile k croire et a comprendre 

qu»Ji justifier." s g. Epiphan. Hser. 69, 




own views with more or less distinctness, as he saw the minds 
of those whom he addressed more or less disposed to embrace 
them, and he requested their interference with Alexander to 
receive him again to communion. Many fell into the snare, and 
and, with really good intentions, furnished him with the letters hisfiwjtioii. 
which he requested ; some embraced the pernicious doctrine of 
the heretic ; and but a very few stood on their guard, and re- 
quested Alexander not to re-admit Arius till he had given some 
satisfactory proof of penitence. 

The Bishops who were the most active partizans of Arius, in 
addition to Eusebius, Secundus, and Theonas, were Theognius 
of Nicsea, Menophantes of Ephesus, Maris of Chalcedon, Patro- 
philus of ScythopoUs,! Theodotus of Laodicea, Paulinus of Tyre, 
Athanasius of Anazarbus,^ Gregory of Berytus, Aetius of Lydda ; 
those most opposed to him were S. Macarius of Jerusalem, S. 
Philogonius of Antioch, and Hellanicus of Tripoli. 

Alexander, though an old man, took the most active measures EHbrts of s. 
to defend the Faith. Provincial Councils were held in several 
parts of Egypt : and the Patriarch wrote letters to aU provinces of 
the Church, entreating the various Prelates to contend earnestly 
for the Truth, and to refuse Communion to Arius. As many as 
seventy of these are known to have existed; and a century 
later they were collected as curiosities. But two only of them 
remain to us. They were not without their effect ; and those 
addressed to the Bishops of Palestine, among others to the cele- 
brated historian, Eusebius of Csesarea, a man disposed towards 
Arianism, but wishing to stand well with all parties, obUged 
Arius to retire to Nicomedia. The subtle Eusebius, of Nico- Arias ntirat 
media, now openly coming forward as his champion, wrote media: 
again and again to Alexander to rescind his condemnation ; and he writes to 
Arius himself addressed a letter to his Bishop, which we still have, der: 

He professed to beUeve in One God ; Only wise, good, just 

^ This was the ancient Bethshan : 
T^y BcuBtriuf, f$ itrn ^kuOSv ir6\is, say 
the LXX. (Judges, i. 27.) It was for 
many ages the Metropolis of Palestina 
Secnnda, till that honour was more 
fitly assigned by the Latins to Naza- 
reth. Le Quien, iii. 681. 

' This was then a town of Cilicia 

Prima, but afterwards became the 
Metropolis, ecclesiastical as well as 
civil, of Cilicia Secunda, and later 
stiU, having been destroyed by earth- 
quakes, was rebuilt by Justin, and took 
his name. It is now an Armenian 
Archiepiscopate under the Catholic of 


and powerful; in One Son of (jod b^otten by Him before the 
worlds ; by Whom He made the worlds ; begotten by Him^ not 
in appearance^ but in verity; created by Him unchangeable; 
though a Creature^ yet not like His other creatures ; though a 
Son^ not like His other sons : not come forth from the Father^ 
as ValentinuB held ; not consubstantial with Him^ as Manes 
taught; not confounded with Him, as Sabellius averred: 
*' all which heresies/' adds Arius, addressing Alexander, ^'your- 
self. Blessed Pope, have condemned/' From the Father, he 
proceeds, the Son received life and glory : the Father is the 
Source of all : so that in the Godhead are three Hypostases. 
And the epistle concludes with the assertion that S. Alexander 
had formerly taught the doctrine now condemned by him, — ^the 
existence of the Father before the Son. This confession of 
futh was signed by such disciples of Arius as were with him at 
Nicomedia ; and when it reached Egypt, by Secundus, Theonas, 
and probably others. 
Encyclic It WRS probably not till then that Alexander wrote an ency- 
Aiexander. cUc Epistle, Containing a brief history of the Arian Schism, 
and an exposition of the True Faith. It opens thus beautifully : 
*' To his beloved and most honourable fellow ministers in all 
parts of the Catholic Church, Alexander, Salutation in the 

''Since the body of the CathoUc Church is one, and there is a 
command in the Divine Scriptures, that we should keep the 
bond of like-mindedness and peace, it follows that we by letter 
should signify to each other that which happens to each; 
that whether one member suffer, all the members may suffer 
with it, or whether it joy, all may rejoice with it. Wherefore, 
in our Dicecese, certain men have gone forth, workers of iniquity 
and the enemies of Christ, teaching an Apostacy which may 
well be thought and called the forerunner of Antichrist. I 
would fain have consigned a matter of this sort to silence, that, 
if it might be so, the evil might have an end in the apostates 
alone, lest, getting abroad into other places, it should defile the 
ears of the simple. But since Eusebius, now Bishop of Nico- 
media, thinking that the affairs of the Church depend upon 
him, because, without receiving punishment, he hath forsaken 
his See of Berytus and set eyes on that of Nicomedia, takes 


the lead of these apostates^ and hath taken in hand to write to 
all quarters, commending them, if perchance he may secretly 
draw the ignorant into the worst heresy, — ^that which fights 
against Gh&ist, — ^I have thought it necessary to break silence, 
as knowing that which is written in the law, and to narrate the 
thing to all of you, so that ye may both know them that are 
apostates, and the unhappy dogmas of their heresy, and if 
Eusebius writes, may pay no regard to him.'' After stating the 
facts of the case,^ and setting forth the Apostohc Truth, 
S. Alexander concludes thus : — 

'^ But we do not think it strange. The case was the same 
with Hymenseus and Philetus, and before them with Judas, who, 
when he had been a follower of the Load, afterwards became a 
traitor and an apostate. And concerning these men themselves, 
we have not been left untaught. But the Lord hath said before, 
' Take heed that no man deceive you : For many shall come in 
My Name, saying, I am Christ, and the time draweth near, and 
shall deceive many : go not after them/ And Paul, who had 
learnt these things from the Saviour, wrote, that in the last 
days some shall apostatize from the faith, giving heed to seducing 
spirits, and to doctrines of devils, turning themselves away 
from the truth. Seeing then our Lord and Saviour Jbsus 
Christ hath signified concerning these things, both by Hiinself 
and the Apostle, we, who have been hearers for ourselves of 
their ungodly words, have accordingly deUvered them over to an 
anathema, and have declared them to be ahens from the Gathohc 
Church and the Faith. And we have set forth the matter to 
your piety, beloved and honourable feUow ministers, that if any 
of them come unto you, ye may not receive them, nor give heed 
to Eusebius nor to any other that write to you on their behalf. 
For we that are Christians ought to turn away from those that 
speak or think anything against Christ, as enemies of Ood 
and destroyers of souls, and not so much as bid them 6od speed, 

^ Many writers on ecclesiastical supposition that EusebiuSi after the 

history place this letter far earlier in exposure of his character which this 

the controversy, because, in giving the letter contains, would again have 

names of those who had fallen away, written to Alexander on behalf of 

S. Alexander says nothing of Pistus Arius, — which yet must be the case if 

and the Mareotis. Undoubtedly, this we place the letter itself earlier, 
is a difficulty, but not so great as the 



[book I. 


CoancU of 
BithyniA : 

lest we be partakers of their iniquities, as Blessed John exhorted 
us afore. Salute the brethren that are with you : they that are 
with me salute you/* This letter was signed by a large body of 
Priests and Deacons, in token of their approval. 

Arius, on his part, continued to receive letters of sympathy 
from various Bishops, and to exhibit them for the encourage- 
ment of his partisans. He also acquired influence from another 
source. Eusebius introduced him to the feeble-minded Con- 
consuutitta stautia ; and the heretic had address to win her entirely to his 
sentiments. Another triumph awaited him. Eusebius assembled 
a Provincial Council of Bithynia, and appears formally to have 
admitted Arius to the Communion of the Church. Authorized by 
this false synod, the Metropolitan, after the example of Alex- 
ander, despatched letters on all sides (as indeed in a less 
degree he had hitherto done^) : one of these, to Paulinus of Tyre, 
is preserved by Theodoret.^ In this he calls on that Bishop, as 
one possessed of great influence, to keep silence no longer, but 
openly to assert what he privately acknowledged to be the truth. 

It was at this time that Arius composed that infamous work, 
his Thalia : — a work which must have proved to aU earnest- 
minded men, that God had given him over to a reprobate mind. 
It was an exposition of his principles written in the style and 
verse of Sotades, one of the most immoral of heathen poets. 
The airs, the measure, the whole efiiect of the verse inspired 
horror and disgust to the better part of the heathens themselves ; 
and Pagans, who even professed no extraordinary purity, shrank 
from the writings of Sotades. And this was the pattern whom a 
Christian Priest, in treating of the most exalted doctrines of the 
faith, professed to follow ; these the ideas which he desired to 
associate with arguments concerning the sublimest mysteries of 
religion I Of all the writings of Arius, this inspired the 
faithful with the deepest loathing. 

Nevertheless, George, a Priest and philosopher of Alexandria,^ 
who then happened to be spending some time at Nicomedia, 
endeavoured to interfere on behalf of Arius, and wrote to his 

Arias com 



^ For S. Alexander, in his encyclic 
Epistle, mentions the letters of Euse- 
bius, as we have seen. But had that 
Epistle been written subsequentiy to 

the Council of Bithynia, — some notice 
would surely have been taken of it. 

3 Theodoret, H. E. i. 6. 

3 Philostorgins, H. E. yiii. 17. 


Bishop^ requesting that he might be re-admitted to Communion. 
The only consequence was that this man^ whom S. Athanasius 
terms the most wicked of the Arians. was himself deposed by George 

, * rf deposed: 

Alexander &om the Priesthood. This loss^ as we shall see^ was 
soon counterbalanced by the favour of his new friends. Befiised 
admittance into the Clergy of Antioch by S. Eustathius^ then 
Bishop of that See^ he obtained it on the deposition of that Saint^ 
and was shortly afterwards elevated to the See of Laodicea. 

From whatever reason^ Arius preferred a residence in Palestine 
to Nicomedia. He accordingly went into that country, 
and presented a petition to three of the Bishops on whose good- 
will he could count, — ^Paulinus of Tyre, Eusebius of Caesarea, 
Patrophilus of Scythopolis,— of an almost unprecedented nature. 
He requested that he might be allowed to assemble his own 
followers for the Divine Offices, as he had done when Parish 
Priest at Alexandria. The Prelates met to consider the demand. Fwado- 

Council of 

and agreed to it. It is wonderful that they could be blind to Palestine: 
the inconsistency of their own conduct : they would not com-* 
municate with one whom S. Alexander had, wrongfully in their 
opinion^ pronoimced a heretic ; but they allowed him to add 
schism to heresy, and that in their own Dioceses. It was now 
tliat Arius, finding himself exempted by ecclesiastical authority, 
such as it was, &om all jurisdiction whatever, took upon himself 
to alter the Doxology to a form, which, containing in itself 
nothing contrary to the Catholic Faith, yet allowed of an hereti- 
cal interpretation: — Glory be to the Father , through the Son, 
in the Holy Ghosts He was anxious also to change the formula 
of Baptism j but this appeared, for the present, too hazardous 
an enterprize. 

The various collections of letters made respectively by Arius 
and Alexander seemed to answer no further end than that of 
exciting emulation, and increasing controversy* Alexander, 
probably by the advice of Athanasius, whom he consulted in all 
things, devised another plan. He drew up a Confession of Tome of s. 
Faith, or, as it is generally termed, a Tome/ which he dispatched ***° *'" 

^ This Tome is by some writers con- Benedictiiie Editors in their Life of S. 

sidered identical with the encyclic Athanasius, support this opinion \ but 

letter, which we have before men- it does not seem to have even a plau- 

tioned. Baronius (318, Ixvii.), and the sible foundation, anymore than that 




to all quarters^ and requested the Bignatures of the Tflrious 
Bishops. It was signed by the whole of his own Diocese^ 
which contained^ as we have seen^ about one hundred Prelates ; 
by those of Cappadocia^ in number about fifteen ; of Lycia^ in 
number about thirty-two; of Pamphylia^ in number about 
thirty-seven; of Asia Proper, about forty-three; and others. 
Thus we cannot imagine the whole number of signatures to 
have been less than two hundred and fifty. 

When afifdrs had attained this condition, Alexander wrote 
the other Epistle which we have mentioned as still extant. 

It is addressed to 8. Alexander of Byzantium, who was not 
only an unshaken champion of orthodoxy, but appears to have 
been the tried friend of his namesake. This is the first commu- 
Episoe to s. nication that we find between the Churches of Alexandria and 
of Constantinople, afterwards so closely to be linked together ; nor 

' was it from any superior dignity in the latter See, but simply 
from the venerable character of the Prelate, that Alexander con- 
sulted him in this emergency. According to some,^ the Bishop 
of Byzantium was but the second that had governed that See : — 
others, but perhaps with less probability, make him the fifth.^ 
A.D.S23.* The Epistle is of great length ; and complains bitterly of the 
violence of the Arians. Then, as during the whole course of 
that heresy, its supporters seem to have reUed on female influ- 
ence for the propagation of their dogmas ; the busy intermeddling 

of Valesius, that the Tome and the 
letter which mentions it are identical. 
A more difficult question is the date of 
the Epistle to Alexander of Con- 
stantinople. Valesius considers it to 
have been written before the residence 
of Arius at Nicomedia, because it says 
nothing of Eusebius ; but not to men- 
tion that this would involve the diffi- 
culty of the Tome having been written 
before the encyclic epistle, the Bishop 
of Alexandria, in his letter to Alex- 
ander, speaks of three Syrian Bishops 
as favouring Arius. If we apply this 
to the permission given him by Euse- 
bius of Ceesarea, Patrophilus, and 
Paulinus, to hold schismatic assem- 
blies, the whole chronology fits in 

satisfactorily. This is TiUemont's 
reasoning (vi. i. 478, note 6), and it 
seems very just 

* Conf. Chron. Pasch. — r^f iv 
Evfarri^ iKKKuvias ^urou irpwros 
MT^rpo^ai^s, with Socrat. H. E. i. 37 
(p.71,27), *AXe(aK8pos . . . Hhtrpo^viiv 

3 So Simeon Metaphrastes in his 
Annals. For the Catalogue of Psendo 
Dorotheus of Tyre, giving a list of 
twenty-six Bishops between S. Andrew 
and S. Alexander, is a mere forgery. 
Le Quien, i. 205, 6. 

Sozomen, L 15. (p. 33. 5.) 

* We follow, In this date, the 
Benedictine Editors of S. Athanasias. 
TUlemont prefers the date 321, be- 




spirit of the young women whom they had perverted to heresy at 
Alexandria^ gave great occasion to the heathen to blaspheme. 
He complains of the reception of the Arian clerks^ by some Pre- 
lates^ contrary to the Apostolic Ganon> into the Church ; and 
calls it a grievous blot on the offenders. This Canon is pro- 
tbably the Sixteenth^ which forbids the reception of a deposed 
Clerk^ as a Clerk^ in another Diocese.^ After a short narration 
of this sort^ which infers that his correspondent was abeady 
acquainted with the general features of the case^ Alexander pro* 
ceeds to a confutation of the Arian theory^ and doubtless drew 
largely on the almost inspired genius of his Deacon. He 
concludes his refutation thus : 

''This we teach; this we preach; — ^these are the Apostolic 
dogmas of the Church, for which we are ready even to lay down 
our Uves, making small account of them that would compel us to 
forswear them, even though they would force us by torture, and 
tiot turning away from the hope that is in them. Which things 
seeing that Arius and Achillas opposed, and they that with them 
are adversaries of the Truth, they have been cast out of the 
Church, as enemies to oiu* pious doctrine, according as Blessed 
Paul saith. If any preach unto you another Gospel than that ye 
have received, though he feign himself an Angel from Heaven, 
Let him be anathema.^^ 

He then proceeds to the subject of the Tome, to which he 
requests the signatiu*e of Alexander ; and mentions that together 
with it he had sent by the same messenger, Apion, a Deacon of 

cause lie understands Alexander* s ex- 
pression about the Arians, rohs 
Sutyfihv iiiuv ip ^ifytivp hceytipoanas 
to prove that the letter must have 
been written in time of peace, that 
is, before the persecution of Licinius, 
or, at latest, in 321 . But the words need 
only imply that, in a previous time of 
peace, the Arians had done so. Or, 
even in TiUemont's sense, if we under- 
stand the persecution of that in Egypt, 
that province, in being so distant from 
the court, might have remained quiet 
long after the commencement of the 
general persecution. — On Tillemont*s 
hypothesis, three years, 321 — 324, 

remain without any historical notice 
of Arianism ; — a thing which in the 
heat of the controversy is hardly pos- 
sible. This he owns : but supposes 
that it may be accounted for by the 
persecution allaying the controversy : 
a persecution which, as he owns, '* n'a 
jamais este tout-a-fait violente, et le 
fut peutestre encore moins en Egypte." 
(vii. 477. note 6.) 

' Beveridge applies it at (me time to 
this Canon, wherein he agrees with 
Petrus de Marca and others, and is 
probably right ; — at another CVind. 
Can. Apost. i. 13.) to the Twelfth. See 
Reading's note, (Theodor. p. ii.not.a.) 




of Lidnius: 

Alexandria^ copies of some of the letters he had received from 
jother Prelates. We cannot doubt how this Epistle was received 
by the holy Bishop to whom it was addressed. Of the other 
seventy persons to whom Alexander wrote on the same subject^ 
we only know S. Sylvester^ of Bome^ S. Macarius of Jerusalem^ 
Asclepas of Gaza^ Longinns of Ascalon, Macrinus of Jamnina, 
and Zeno^ who appears to have been ex-Bishop of Tyre. 

Towards the close of this Epistle^ Alexander mentions that the 
Arians^ as much as in them lay^ had excited persecution against 
the Church in time of peace. 

We must now say a few words on the persecution of Licinius. 
It seems to have been commenced^ as much out of pique at the 
superior power of Gonstantine. as from any other cause : and it 
wi carri^ on with more or less vigour, principaUy against the 
Bishops^ but never with any great degree of ferocity, for about 
seven years. Its most illustrious Martyr in Egypt was S. 
Donatus,^ Bishop of Thmuis, and the successor of the Martyr 
S. Phileas. A native of some insignificant town in Istria, he 
went to Aquileia for the purpose of evangelizing the surrounding 
country : — ^when the persecution of Diocletian grew violent, he 
retired into Dalmatia, and led an eremitical life on the summit 
of a high mountain. Having confessed before Diocletian him- 
self, and having by his exemplary courage converted Macarius 
and Theodoras, two of the bystanders, he, in company with 
them, sailed to Egypt. Happening to pass through Thmuis, 
probably on his way to the Mountain of S. Antony, he was 
elected Bishop of that See, and governed it for several years, 
raising Macarius to the Priesthood, and Theodoras to the 

1 As Baronins (318. lix.) takes all 
due care to point out. Pope Liberius, 
in his letter to Gonstantine, (printed 
in Biblioth. Sanct. Tom. ix.) speaks of 
this letter as still existing. The Cardi- 
nal a little strains facts when he says, 
"Constat imprimis eundem Alezan- 
dmm de iis qne ab ipso gesta essent ad- 
versus Arinm scripsisse literas ad pri- 
marise sedis Episcopnm, &c.** — there 
being no authority either for or against 
the statement. The other names are 
known from S. Epiphanins, Hser. 69. 

3 His Acts are in Bollandus, under 
May 22: but are tricked oat witk 
imaginary incidents and conversations, 
in the tastes of the Greek Martyrolo- 
gists. Le Quien (ii. 539) professes to 
abstract them, but is very inaccurate. 
The year in which S. Donatus suffered 
is quite uncertain, and there seems no 
reason for believing with Cardonus, 
(Comment. Preev. § 2.) that it was so 
early as a. d. 316. 


Diaconate. Tliey finished their course gloriously under Lici- martyrdom 
nius^ being cut piecemeal j a method of execution which^ as tias, kaoa?' 
Eusebius informs us^^ was not unusual in this persecution. Theodonu. 

Justly enraged at the injuries inflicted by Licinius^ both on 
his religion and on his empire^ Gonstantine marched against 
him. The armies met at Adrianople : Pagans and Christians 
alike owned the supernatural terror which the Labarum struck 
into its opponents. — Licinius left more than thirty thousand ov^^^s^ 
men on the field of battle^ and retreated towards Asia^ ^t"*^*^"*' 
Chalcedon a second and more decisive engagement was fought : 
Licinius was totally defeated and taken prisoner : the conqueror 
spared his life^ but sent him to Thessalonica : and there^ as his 
restless spirit urged him on to fresh attempts at agitation^ he 
was strangled in the course of the succeeding year. 

Ck)nstantine. thus become Master of the world, learnt with ^ 

' , , becomes 

deep sorrow the distracted state of the East. But, unhappily, »oi« ^m- 
Eusebius of Nicomedia, far from being overwhelmed in the ruin 
of his patron Licinius, obtained equal, if not greater influence 
over the mind of the new Emperor. Capricious almost to 
imbecility by nature, elated by his rapid and extraordinary rise, 
naturally regarded with the greatest deference by the Prelates of 
that Church which he had saved from persecution, and believing 
himself, though a mere catechumen, as qualified to be the 
supreme moderator of ecclesiastical, as well as civil, affairs, 
Gonstantine presented the character most exactly suited to the 
insidious attacks of such a master of finesse as Eusebius. It 
was easy to represent to the Emperor that the controversy at 
Alexandria had arisen from the discussion of an unimportant 
q^estion, which ought never to have been mooted, or, when 
unfortunately raised, to have been instantly quashed ; — ^that a receives a 
frivolous distinction had lighted up discord throughout the StonoTthT' 
Earth, had divided families, and separated friends : — ^and that pates from 
the only remedy lay in compeUing the authors of the controversy ""* 
to reconciliation. Gonstantine fell into the snare: — and he 
wrote, or it were more true to say, suffered Eusebius to write in 
his name, the disgraceful epistle, which Eusebius the Historian 
has from his hatred to Catholic Doctrine, taken pleasure in pre- 

> Euseb. Vit. Constant ii. 2. 



writes to 
and AriOB, 

serving to us whole^ if^ indeed^ he have not^ contrary to liis 
profession^ mutilated and corrupted it.^ 

It is addressed simply ^'to Alexander and Arius'^; and its 
whole tenor is based on this one notion, — that if Arius had been 
somewhat too pertinacious in refusings Alexander had been 
tyrannical in exacting the profession of an unimportant dogma ; 
that such disputes might be beneficial as exercises of subtlety, 
and mediums of oratorical display, but that when discussed by 
the vulgar, incapable of curious distinctions and accurate defini- 
tions, they became highly injurious and perilous : that no 
essential part of the Christian Law was at stake, no new dogma 
in the worship of God had been introduced : that philosophers 
of different sects lived in friendly communication, — ^much more 
should the teachers of Christianity agree to differ : that they who 
should be the first in binding their people together in peace, 
were the authors of innumerable and interminable discussions. 
"Restore to me,'' concludes the Emperor, "quiet days, and 
nights void of care : that henceforward I may have the joy of 
Pure Light, and the gladness of a quiet life. This if I gain not, 
I must needs lament, and be dissolved in tears, and go heavily 
for the remainder of my days. For when the people of God, 
my fellow servants, are divided by unjust and harmfdl conten- 
tion, how can I be of unmoved soul ? . . . . Open to me, 
by your, reconciliation, the way to the East, which ye have closed 
by your contentions : and allow me speedily to behold your- 
selves and all other people at union, so that I may be enabled, 
with the unanimous accordance of every mouth, to return thanks 
to God for the common concord and liberty of all.'' 

To this effect wrote Eusebius of Nicodemia : thus openly did 
he declare the dispute to be a mere strife of words which involved 
the question, whether the Saviour were a mere creature, or 
Very God of Very God. The state of Arius himself, who 
boldly accused the Catholics of idolatry, were surely enviable, in 
comparison with that of this Bishop. 

The messenger who was entrusted with the Royal Letter was 
Hosius, Bishop of Cordova, a Prelate who was destined to act a 

by HosiiiBy . . 

ofcordovai forcmost part in the troublous times that followed; — and one 
who, had he not lived too long for his own fame, might have 

1 See BaroniuB^'s remarks on the subject, 318. zc. 


the letter 




held the second place among the Saints that suffered in the 
Arian persecution. He was now almost seventy years of age, 
so that he had not only stood firm during the persecution of 
Maximian, which raged with peculiar fury in Spain, but must 
have well remembered that of Aurelian. How Eusebius could 
suggest or consent to the nomination of such a Commissioner, 
it is difficult to say : unless the great age, well known sanctity, a.d.,824,* 
and tried prudence of Hosius, rendered the Emperor's choice^ too a.d., sas, 
manifestly proper to be gainsaid. He was also charged with 
an inquiry, as it would appear,^ into the conduct of the Mele- 
tians and Coluthians ; and was to use his influence in composing 
the long continued disputes concerning the proper time of the 
celebration of Easter.^ 

On the arrival of Hosius, a Council was held at Alexandria, SSSSd^: 
the acts of which have unfortunately perished. It only appears ^ndSSSId. 
that the heresy both of Arius, and, as the natural consequence, 
of Sabellius, were thoroughly sifted ; — ^that the word Consub- 
stantial was formally approved ; — ^that Arius was excommuni- 
cated afresh ; that the Meletians were condemned anew ; — and 
that Coluthus and his partisans were summoned before the 
Synod. His assumed power of ordination was derided as an 
unheard of novelty : — ^those on whom he had laid hands, (and 
among them, the afterwards notorious Ischyras,) were reduced 
to the rank of laymen ; but both the schismatic and the greater 
part of his followers were, on their recantation, admitted to the 
Communion of the Church. How, as we have elsewhere said, of^SSSS. 

^ It is really melanclioly, as shewing 
how nnfair a controversial spirit will 
render the best men, to read Baro- 
nius*s account (319. xxyi.) of the 
legation of Hosius by S. Sylvester 
of Rome to Alexandria ; — a supposi- 
tion for which there is absolutely not 
the slightest authority, except the 
Historian's own ** satU ngnifieatum 

' Euseb.Vit. Constant Lib. ii. Conf. 
capp. 62, 63. 

* Sozomen. H. E. 1. 16. 

• Pagi in Baron. 319. iv. TiUe- 
mont places it (vi. 1. 385) a year 
earlier. The mission of Hosius can 

hardly be placed before the end of 
324, because the battle of Adrianople 
was only fought in July ; — then fol- 
lowed that near Chalcedon ; and the 
necessary settlement of the Empire 
could hardly have given Eusebius time 
to acquire an ascendancy over the Em- 
peror's mind, in that same year. — 
Nor can it be later than February, 
because Constantine, after having 
written to S. Alexander, went to 
Thessalonica, where he already was 
on the 18th of March, and because 
of the numerous events that occurred 
between it and the Synod of Nicsea. 


could the Council have come to such a determination on the 
Orders conferred by Coluthus^ if within the memory of living 
men^ the Bishop of Alexandria had received no other ordination ? 
The Arians^ throughout Egypt and the Thebais^ on the result 
of the Council being known^ joined by the Meletians^ committed 

Arian the wildcst acts of fury. They insulted the Catholics; they cast 
stones at the statues of the Emperor; — every petty town was 
filled with controversial disputes. The contemporary Fathers 
give a lively picture of the popular interest^ and fearful irreve- 
rence displayed on the question. On asking for the necessities 
of life in the inn^ in the bath^ at the shop of the baker or that 
of the shoemaker^ the inquirer^ instead of receiving the reply he 
expected^ was met with the answer^ " Great is the Only-Begotten, 
but greater is He That begot.*' Women were more especially 
active in propagating the new sentiments; and the female 
disciples of Arius were, in particular, the curse of Alexandria. 

Alius, on this, addressed a letter to Constantine, complaining 
of his unjust excommunication ; and the Emperor repHed by an 
Epistle, not indeed without its force of argument and vigour of 
expression, but utterly unworthy of the author and the occasion, 
inasmuch as it condescends to play on the name and to ridicule 
the person of the heretic.^ It concluded with an invitation to 
Arius to plead his own cause at court. This letter was brought 
to Alexandria by the PubHc Couriers, Syndetius and Gaudentius,^ 
and was fixed in the public places of this and the other prin- 
cipal cities of the Empire. Arius, however, did not lose courage, 
but presented himself personally to Constantine, on whom, though 
he concealed the poison of his heresy, he was not, at that time, 
able to make a favourable impression. 

At length, wearied out with disputes, and urged by the 
authority of Alexander and Hosius, Constantine summoned an 

Convocation (Ecumcnical Council, at the city of Nicsea in Bithynia, for the 

cUof^NiMM. fourteenth day of June,^ a.d. 326. 

1 Gelasius, Hist. Cone. Nic. iii. 1. much to be said. It is most probable 

^ Baronius, 319. zxi. that the Council, for whatever day it 

• It would lead us too far from our might have been convoked, was not 

immediate subject to discuss its opened till June 19. Tillemont, vi. 3. 

date, for and against which there is 912. Note 1. 




If^ on commencmg the relation of an arduous war^ it be the 
practice of profane historians to number the contending chief-> 
tains^ to characterize their various constitutions of mind^ to 
catalogue their most illustrious actions^ and thus to bring them 
forth on the field of battle^ — ^much more^ about to enter on the 
most fearful struggle in which the Church was ever engaged^ 
and to write of its august opening in the ever memorable 
Council of Nicsea^ may we be allowed to pause for a moment on 
the principal Prelates who there assembled, and on the noble Tbe Fathers 

, , . assemble 

deeds of this great host of the King of Kings. Among these at Nicsea : 
*^' three hundred and eighteen trained servants ''^ of the True 
Abraham^ were men who carried about with them. the glorious 
marksof Confession in the Tenth Persecution, — ^men on whom dis- 
tant Churches had hung as Columns of the One Paith, — ^men, in 
whom the ApostoHc gifts still dwelt in all their pristine vigour, — 
men, who had not only the powerof binding and loosing in Heaven, 
but of healing diseases, and of raising the dead, on earth. They 
gathered from every province of the known world, an exceeding 
great army of Prelates, an innumerable multitude of Priests and 
Deacons; they came to compare the Creeds taught in their 
Churches by the ApostoHc founders of each, and to bear witness 
to the Truth of the same Holy Ghost That spoke by all ; — 
they came to invest traditional faith with infaUible words, and to 
rear an everlasting bulwark between the Church and heresy : — 
they assembled from Italy and Spain, and Africa, and the Goths, 
and Palestine, and Cappadocia, and Isauria, and Egypt, and 
Mesopotamia, and the Pentapolis ; the Euphrates and the 
Guadalquiver, the Tiber and the Nile, the Danube and the 
Orontes, sent forth their champions for the Verity of the 

^ Genesis ziy. 14. 



[book I. 

nunesof Gatholic Greedy and the Glory of the Gonsubstantial. There 
BiahQpc. was S. Macarius of Jerusalem^ illustrious for many miracles : 
there was S. Eustathius of Antioch^ who had raised a dead man 
to Ufe : there was S. James of Nisibis^ who by the power of 
his intercession routed Sapor and all the flower of the Persian 
host ; there was S. Leontius of Gsesarea^ in Gappadocia^ ^' the 
equal of the Angels/' and the spiritual Father of many Martyrs ; 
S. Hypatius of Gangra, who himself attained the Grown of 
Martyrdom^ and breathed out his spirit in a petition for his 
murderers ; S. Paul of Neocsesarea^ who had been mutilated in 
the persecution of Lidnius; S. Alexander of Gonstantinople^ 
at whose supplication Divine Vengeance overwhelmed Arius; S. 
Nicasius of Die^^ the only delegate from the ever orthodox 
Gaul; Protogenes of Sardica^ the bulwark of the Dacian 
Ghurch ; S. Meletius of Sebastopolis^ who fought his good fight 
in Armenia; S. Spiridion of Tremithus^ the glory of Cyprus; 
S. Achilleus of Larissa^ the Atjianasius of Thessaly ; S. Gela- 
sius of Salamis^ who had been all but a Martyr ; and multi- 
tudes of other Prelates^ whose names^ less famous in the Ghurch 
Militant^ were doubtless not the less surely written in the 
Book of Life. 

In such an august assembly^ then^ did 8. Alexander, with 
twenty of his Prelates,^ appear. Of these the most famous 
were S. Potamon of Heraclea, who had lost an eye under 

and his 
Prelates : 

1 See TiUemont, vl 3. 687. 

3 We reserve a list of these Prelates 
for a note : — Harpocration of Naucra- 
tis, (the birthplace of Athenseus) ; 
Atlas of Schedia,— a city a littte to the 
East of Alexandria ;— in the list of 
signatures, it is by mistake placed in 
Thebais ; Cains of Phthenoth, (which 
gave its name to a branch of the Nile ;) 
Dorotheas of Pelasium; Cains of 
Thmnis, the successor of S. Phileas 
and S. Donatus ; Darius of Rhinoco- 
mra, or Farma, the boundary city of 
Asia and Africa ; Philip of Panephy- 
sus ; Alberion of Pharbsethus ; Ada- 
mantius of CynopoUs the lower; 
Antiochus of Memphis ; Harpocra- 
tion of CynopoUs in Heptanomus, 

who played a distinguished part in the 
Synod; (Socrat. H. E. i. 18); Ty- 
rannus of Antinoe, who appears to 
have been originally a Meletian ; 
Yolusianns of Lycopolis, who had 
been consecrated in the place of Mele- 
tius ; Titus of Parsetonium; Serapion, 
probably of Antiphrse; — all these 
were Catholics: — Dathes of Berenice ; 
Zephyrius of Barce ; Secundos of 
Teuchirii besides the ex-Bishops, Se- 
cundus of Ptolemais, and Theonas of 
Marmarica, Arians. In these names, 
we have followed Le Quien's autho- 
rity : who gives them partly conjectur- 
ally, partly from Arabic MSS., in the 
Royal Library at Paris. 



Maximin, and whom we shall see hereafter a faithfiil Martyr, 
under Constantius ; — and S. Paphnutius, from the Thebais, so 
renowned for his Confession and Sanctity. But of all that went 
from the Diocese of Alexandria, S. Athanasius, at that great crisis, 
stood foremost. Among the Egyptian Prelates were three, Secim- 
dus, Zephyrius, and Dathes, who were infected with Arianism ; 
they were all from Libya, a proof how great was the influence 
that Arius, Secundus and Theonas had possessed in their own 
neighbourhood. The Egyptian Bishops, as all the other Fathers, 
were furnished with public conveyances, and had every expense 
paid, by a rescript of the Emperor issued for that purpose. 

It is evidently beyond our proposed scheme to write more at 
length of the proceedings at Nicsea, than may be necessary for 
the perfect understanding of the afiairs of that Church whose 
history we have taken in hand to relate. The condemnations of 
Arius and Meletius are essential to that end; on the other 
regulations of the Council we shall dwell with extreme brevity. 

S. Sylvester, then filling the Chair of Rome, sent two Priests, 
Vitus, otherwise called Viton, and Vincent, as his Legates to the Legates 
Council; being unable, through his great age and infirmities, to be 
present in person. It thus fell to S. Alexander of Alexandria to 
preside : but he, doubtless, was unwilling to sit as judge where he 
was both the chief accuser and the principal witness. On this, 
the right of precedence devolved on S. Eustathius of Antioch; and s. Eusta- 
he it was, in all probability, who did accordingly preside. It has Antioch, 
often been asserted, that Hosius, as one of the Pope^s Legates, 
fiUed that post : but it seems almost certain, that this venerable 
Prelate was not a Legate from Rome^ : and the arguments for 

from Rome : 

^ We wish to be as far as possible 
from being influenced, in a statement 
like the above, by any controversial 
view. The only authority for the 
Legantine office of Hosins is Gelasius ; 
whereas for the fact of the legation of 
the Priests, we have the testimonies 
of Ensebius, Theodoret, andSozomen. 
Again, S. Julius of Rome speaks of 
his Priests that had assisted at the 
Council, and had borne witness to the 
orthodoxy of Marcellus of Ancyra. 
Strange, had Hosius been legate, that 

he should have been omitted ! — And 
should it be replied, (we know not 
that it ever has been) that the fall of 
Hosius might have invalidated his tes- 
timony, we answer that Tincent, one 
of the Priests, was afterwards, in all 
probability, the famous Tincent of 
Capua : so that he should have been 
excluded for a similar reason. Baro- 
nius is forced, for lack of a better 
argument, to rely on the supposititious 
letter of the Nicene Fathers to S. 
Sylvester: a letter which, notwith- 



his presidencyj though strongs are not overpowering. That he 
was the hfe and soul of the Council^ none denies ; at the same 
time^ it would be a painful reflection that the formal head of 
this great Synod had, at a later period, fallen away from the 
Faith of which he was then the principal support. 
; But if, in this august assembly, the numbers of the Catholics 
were far superior to those of their adversaries, the latter formed a 
well arranged phalanx, wanting neither courage nor art, strong 
in the favour of court parasites and eunuchs of the bedchamber, 
SrSdMi**** troubled with no scruples, and hesitating at no degradation. Of 
22J" . these, who numbered seventeen or eighteen, Eusebius of Nieo- 
media occupied the first place ; Eusebius of Csesarea the Eccle-* 
siastical Historian, Paulinus of Tyre, Aetius of Lydda, the two 
excommunicated Libyan Bishops, Secundus and Theonas, pos- 
sessed great influence; while . Menophantus of Ephesus, as 
at that time next in rank to the See of Antioch, and Theognius, 
as Bishop of the city in which the Council were assembled, must 
have possessed an importance to which their talents and 
reputation do not seem to have entitled them. 

The Council was opened on the nineteenth day of June,^ the 
thecowacu: Empcror being absent. For the first fortnight, the Bishops 

standing the moderation of Tillemont's 
censure, is a gross, clumsy, and pal- 
pable forgery. Bnt this is not all. 
The superscription of that letter is, 

Beatissimo Papee — Hosius 

Macarius. . . . Victor [i. e, Vitus] 
et Vincentius. This would prove 
that, if Hosius were legate, S. Macarius 
was so too. Baronins omits his name ; 
and this is also pointed out by Tille- 
mont. The latter, with Launoy and 
others, considers the Legantine com- 
mission of Hosius as untenable. — But 
it is a different question, whether he 
were not President. The authorities 
for this seem to be : 1. The tact that 
in the signatures of the Nicene Fa- 
thers, and in Socrates, his name 
appears first. 2. That S. Athanasius 
calls him the head of all the Councils. 
3. That he undoubtedly presided at 
Sardica. Here, however, the Bishop 

of Antioch was not present, and he of 
Alexandria was a party in the cause. 
In favour of the presidency of S. Ens- 
tathius, we may observe, 1 . That John 
of Antioch, (who ought to have had 
means of knowing,) writing to S. 
Proclus, calls him the first of the 
Nicene Fathers. 3. Facundus names 
him the first in the Council. 3. It 
would appear from Theodoret, that he 
was the Bishop who sat on the Em- 
peror's right hand, and addressed him 
in the name of the Bishops. 4. Nice- 
phorus entitles him Coryphaeus of the 
Fathers of Nicaea. We confess that 
these latter arguments appear to us to 
prevaiL (A great part of this note is 
fromTillemont, vi. 3. 675. & 920.) 

^ We are not concerned here to dis- 
cuss this date. Cent Pagi, Critice, 
325. iii. & viL TiUemont, vi. 3. 912 : 
and Valesius, in Socrat 


held frequent meetings in the principal church of the city, for 
the purpose of hearing, from the mouth of Arius himself, the 
doctrines which had thus disturbed the peace of the Church. 
The heretic, standing as it were at bay, concealed nothing : he 
openly declared that the Son of God had been created from 
nothing : that He was capable of holiness and sin, and had, of 
His own free will, preferred hohness ; and that, in the purest 
sense of the word. He was a creature and a work of the Father. 
At these blasphemies, the greater part of the Prelates stopped 
their ears; but the Eusebians were instant that the doctrine 
should be examined : if new, it might be supported ; if strange, 
explained. The Confessors as loudly exclaimed that the ancient 
tradition should, without re-examination, be maintained and 

In the midst of these disputes, Constantine, who had been urriTBi of 

. . . . Constan- 

celebrating at Nicomedia the anniversary of his first victory over tine: 
Licinius, arrived at Nicsea. His entry was made on the eve of 
the day which had been appointed for the solemn session of the 
Council. Some of the Bishops, influenced probably by Arian 
wiles, repaired to the Emperor, and presented memorials on 
injustices alleged to have been committed by each other; — ^and 
Constantine, retaining them in his possession, promised to give 
them his attention. 

The appointed day having arrived, the Fathers assembled in 
the great hall of the Palace, where seats had been arranged, 
correspondent with the number of the Prelates. They took 
their places, and waited in silence for the entry of the Emperor, 

As many of the Bishops were Httle skilled in human learning, 
and entirely unacquainted with the rules of controversy, some 
learned men, as well Priests as Laics, were present to render 
their assistance. 

The Emperor entered, in his robe of purple, studded with he meetsthe 

•^ . . . r r- ^ ^ Fathers in 

precious stones : his retinue consisted of a few unarmed Chris- session, 
tians : the assembly rose as one man : Constantine blushed and, 
passing up the hall, stood before a little throne prepared for him 
at its higher end. The Bishops made signs to him to seat him^ 
self; and when he had done so, they all took their places, 
Eustathius of Antioch, who occupied the highest seat on the 
Emperor's right hand, then rose, and addressed the Coimcil in 


a short congratulatory speech^ ; the Emperor replied by express- 
ing his joy at meeting so large an assembly^ and his hope that 
their deUberations would lead to unanimity. He spoke in 
Latin; and an interpreter translated his words into Greeks 
which was the native language of the greater part of the 

The progress which was made in each of the sessions held 
afker the arrival of Constantine is quite unknown to us ; and 
can only be discovered if researches in Oriental Monasteries 
should bring any contemporary history of the Council to light.. 
The first subject brought under consideration^ was the heresy 
of Arius. The Catholic Bishops demanded of his supporters an 
DUpate. account both of their principles, and of the reasons which had 
Jjian*** led them to embrace their present views ; the heretics, in endea- 
Butaops: youring to answer, disagreed as much among themselves, as 
they did with the orthodox. The Emperor paid great attention 
to the arguments on both sides : he addressed the disputants in 
Greek, which he spoke with tolerable ease, moderating their 
eagerness, and endeavouring to his utmost ability to promote 
union. S. Athanasius, in all these disputes, signalized himself 
as the most powerful champion against the Eusebians ; — and 
thereby attracted that implacable hatred on their part, which 
intrigues of ccascd not to pursue him to the end of his days. Eusebius of 
Nicomedia: Nicomcdia, finding that if Arius were condemned, his own 
deposition might very possibly follow, apphed himself to win 
Constantine through some of his Court favourites. The scheme 
failed, and the Bishop himself was exposed to the horror and indig- 
nation of the Council by the production of a letter in which he said, 
intending a reductio ad absurdum, — If it be asserted that Jesus 
Christ is Very and Uncreated Son of God, it is almost the same 
thing as asserting that He is Consubstantial with the Father. The 
letter was torn in pieces by the Council, in token of abhorrence. 
Nor did Eusebius of Csesarea fare better. He composed a 
Creed, which he endeavoured to pass off as the true sentiments 
of his party ; and which he affirms to have been received with 
applause by the Council, and merely rejected because it did not 
employ the Word Consubstantial. But this falsehood is worthy 

1 Conf. Bar. 325. Ivi. Euseb. Yit. Const. iiL II. Theodoret, H. £. i. 6. 

Tillemont, yL 3. 920. 


of its author* For the fact is, that it was rejected with disgust^ 
as an attempt to condemn the grosser expressions, while it 
maintained the doctrine of Arius. This Creed ran as follows.^ creed of 
^' We believe in One Gon, the Father Almighty, Maker of all caeearea'^ 
things, visible and invisible : And in One Lobd Jesus Christ, 
the Word of Gon, God of God, Light of Light, Life of Life, 
the Only Begotten Son, the First-Bom of every creature: 
[begotten of the Father before aU worlds, by Whom aU things 
were made i^] Who for our salvation took flesh and had His con- 
versation among men: and suffered and rose again the third 
day, and ascended to the Father; and shall come again with 
glory to judge the quick and dead. And we beUeve in the 
Holy Ghost. Bdieving that each of These are and subsist : 
the Father Very Father, the Son Very Son, the Holy 
Ghost Very Holy Ghost : as our Lord, sending forth His 
Disciples to preach, said. Go ye and teach aU nations, baptizing 
them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the 
Holy Ghost. Concerning which we also affirm that these 
things thus are, and that we thus beUeve, and have ever thus 
held, and will constantly remain in. this faith till death, 
anathematising every godless heresy.^' 

It was therefore necessary to proceed to some more Catholic its rejection: 
exposition of the Faith. 

The Fathers first advanced as the most simple proposition : 
'' The Word is God.'' The Arians agreed ; so, they said, after 
a certain sort are all men : for it is written. All things are of 
God. To press the matter still more closely, the Council next 
asserted that the Son was the Virtue, the Wisdom, the Eternal 
Image of the Father : like Him in aU things, immutable, eter- 
nally subsistent in Him. The Arians, by emphasising certain 
words of this statement, declared their willingness to subscribe 
to it. He is the Image of the Father : for it is written that chicanery of 
man was made in His image : He is in Him : for it is written ; bumfr*" 

^ Theodoret^ H. £. i. 12. We may facts are so universally known, as 

remark that, in this section, where we because we neither could add, nor 

are not writing of the immediate sub- could hope to add, any thing to what 

ject of our history, we have not Baronius, Pagl, Tillemont, and Fleury 

thought it necessary to give a long list have written on the subject, 

of quotations, — as well because the ' xhis clause is probably spurious. 


in Him we live and move ; eternally , or always^ in Him : for it 
is written, " for we which live are always " ; the Virtue and 
Power of God, for we are told of many such. The Fathers 
exclaimed. He is Very God. He is so, replied the Arians ; if 
He has been verily so made, verily He so is. 
adoption of Then the Council, purposing to leave no subterfoge, said : — 
the^Homoa. rj^^ ^^^ ^f q^^ ^ CONSUBSTANTIAL with the Father. 

And here the Arians would not follow. They would not 
affirm that He is not only similar, but inseparable, not only like, 
but the same; that that may be predicated of Him with respect 
to the Father, which can be predicated of no creature. 

And doubtless this word was the greater affliction to the 
Arians, because it was, as it were, a sword borrowed from their 
own armoury. If the Son be as the Catholics would have Him, 
they had said. He must be Consubstantial with the Father. 
He must be, the Fathers would seem to reply : — ^and so He is. 
Their opponents loudly clamoured against the term. One thing, 

ouectioiw *^®y ^^f ^^^^ ^^ consubstantial to another only in three ways. 

saMbians- Either by production, as a plant and its root : by procession, as 
a child and its father : by division, as the several pieces of a 
broken mass. The Catholics explained that the word was to be 
taken in a diviae and heavenly sense, and not according to the 
gross meaning which the Arians put upon it. The next shift of 
the heretics was the assertion, that the term had been condemned 
in the Council of Antioch, holden against Paul of Samosata. For 
this very reason, replied the faithful, that it had been applied in 
a gross and earthly manner. Lastly, the Eusebians objected 
that it was not a Scriptural word. The orthodox answered, that 
neither were many terms employed by the Arians themselves ; 
and that the word (which^ indeed, Eusebius himself confesses) 
had been employed by several of the most eminent Doctors of 
the Church. Paying, therefore, no attention to these represen- 
tations, the Council proceeded to draw up a Symbol of Faith. 
It would appear that this task was entrusted to a committee, of 
which Hosius of Cordova acted as chairman ; it is certain that 
S. Athanasius also had a hand in it, and we probably shall not 
err, in imagining S. Alexander, who had written so much and so 
well on the subject, and who is known to have had so 
much authority in the Synod, to have been one of its 


framers. It was copied out and read by S« Hermogenes^ after- 
wards Bishop of Csesarea^ in Cappadoeia : which would lead to 
the supposition that S. Leontius^ the then Bishop of that See^ 
was also one of the framers of the Creed. 

Thus^ then^ spoke the Church. 

We BELIEVE IN One God. the Father Almighty. Maker The creed or 


OF ALL Things^ visible and invisible : 

And in One Lord Jesus Christ^ the only begotten Son 


OP THE Father, God op God, Light op Light, Very God of 
Very God, begotten, not made, Consubstantial with the 
Father : by Whom all things were made, both in Hea- 
ven AND on Earth: Who for us men and for our salvation 


suffered, and rose again the third day, and ascended 
INTO Heaven : and shall come again to judge the quick 
and the dead. 

And we believe in the Holy Ghost. ■ 

And for them that say, concerning the Son op God, 
There was a time when He was not, and. He was not be- 
fore He was produced, and. He was produced from things 
that are not, and. He is of another substance or essence, 
or created, or subject to conversion or mutation, the 
Catholic and Apostolic Church saith. Let them be 

The creed of Nicaea was at once embraced by a very large The Arians 
proportion of the assembled Fathers. Seventeen alone dis- 
sented, and these urged all the objections they could raise 
against the adoption of the term Consubstantial. In fine, 
however, all gave way excepting five ; Eusebius of Nicomedia, 
Theognius of Nicaea, Maris of Chalcedon, and the Libyan 
Prelates, Secundus and Theonas. The three former used every 
effort both in the Council, and with the Emperor, to avoid 
signature. Nothing, however, availed them : and they found 
themselves driven to a choice between subscription and exile. 
On this. Maris reluctantly put his name to the document : ^^^l ^ 
Eusebius and Theognius are reputed, on Arian^ authority, to "^^J***®" 

^ There seems no ground for reject- this point, as if he had invented ^he 
ing the testimony of Philostorgtus on tale for the purpose of shielding Eose- 



have inaoribed an ioto in the hamoUsieai ao aa to term the Son 
of God ^quiaubstantial^ instead of Gonaubstantial : Eusebius 
moreover declaring^ that he subscribed the Creed but not the 
anathema. Secundus and Theonas alone had eourage and 
honesty to stand firm in their sentiments. Th^ Council con- 
demned them ^th Arius^ and together with them^ Euzoius and 
Pistus, who were afterwards respectively intruded by the here- 
tical fttction^ into the thrones of Antioch and Alexandria. They, 
aa well as the heresiarch, were banished by the decree of the 
Emperor^ into the province of Illyria. Here, though deposed, 
they persisted, it would seem, in exercising Episcopal functions ; 
at least we find that Pope S. Julius refused ordination conferred 
by Secundu. a. inralid. 
Decision S. Alexander next brought before the Fathers the schism of 

the Meietian Mcletius ^-*«nd it is d^cult to aecoimt for the lenity with which 
the Council treated its originator. Perhaps it was feared that 
harshness might induce the Meletians to throw themselves unre- 
servedly unto the party of the Arians, with whom they had 
already foarmed a connexion; perhaps Alexander himself was 
not unwilHng, having been compelled to proceed with the 
greatest vigour against the Arians, and thereby having incurred 
the imputation of acting from persoisu^l motive^,, to shew, in a 
point where moderation might more safely be employed, that 
he was willing to sacrifice all things for the sak^ of peace, truth 
alone excepted. Another reason has been suggesi;ed in the 
excessive eagerness of Constantino hiwself to compose diffier- 
^aoes. However this may be, Meletius was received to Commu- 
nion, aosd permitted to retain the title of Bishop : while he was 
fcffbidden for the future to exercise any episcopal fonqtionay and 
anptheir Prelate was given to the ChuKihof l^yec^olis, if indeed, 
a Catholic had not been ordained there previously. As to 
those whom he had consecrated, they weire to be received into the 
Chuj?ch by i^aposition of hands, sftd to continue in that rank, to 
which he had elevated th^ea : though thi^y were to yield prece- 
dence to suc^ as had been canonically ordained by Alexander. In 
ca^ of ^ death of any of those Prelates who had remained in 

bius from a charge of inconsistency effect this end; — and the stratagem 
and vacillation. A much easier me- is quite in. keeping with the character 
thod might surely have been found to of Eusebius. 


the Communion of the Church, his place might be supplied by 
one of those who had been consecrated by Meletius, at the 
choice of the people, and by the confirmation of the Bishop of 
Alexandria. To prevent the possibility of any collusion, Mele- 
tius was ordered io present a Hst of those whom he had elevated 
to any ecclesiastical office. On his return to Alexandria, hd 
complied with the injunction : and gave in the names of twenty- 
eight Bishops,^ besides eight Priests or Deacons. 

The event, as we shall see, proved the lenity of the Council 
to have been much misplaced; and the terms in which S. 
Athanasius speaks of it, prove clearly his opinion of the iil- 
judged character of the measure^ 

Thus far is the Council of Niceea intimtely connected with The PMciiai 
the welfare of the Alexandrian Church. With its decision of the **"" 
question about Easter, we are no fibrther concerned than to re<- 
nmrk, that it was now made the office of the Bishop of Alexan- 
dria to give notice of the true day to his brother of Rome, and 
by his meanS) to the whole Catholic Church. 

Of the twenty celebrated Canons of Nicsea, one only concerns 
the Church of Alexandria. The Sixth Canon provides for the 
observation of the andent customs in Egypt, Libya, «nd Penta-' 
polis j confirming to the Bishop of Alexandria his right of alone 
ordaining Bishops in those provinces. But we must not omit 
menticm o( the manner in which 8. Paphnutius^ the Egyptian 
Bishc^ of whom we have before spoken, distinguished himself in 
the debate on the celibacy of the clergy. In the consideration of 
the l^ird Canon, which forbade the clergy to retain the practice 
prevalent in some pl&ces, of having women, known by the title 
of subintrodttced, to manage their domestic affairs, and limiting 
those who might dwell in the same house,^ to moth^s, aunts, 
or sisters, some of the Fathers were desirous of ordaining that 
any Clerk married befc^re his ordination must after it observe 
continence. S. I^aphnutius opposed this, and as he himself was 
unmarried, and of notc^ously pure life, his opinion had great 
weight. "The Church had a^dficed/* be sadd, "that none s.^J^phna. 
could nifittry after the reception of Holy Orders : let that suffice ; 
to press the matter further would rather tend to immoraUty than 

^ The names are preserved by S. Apol. i. 789. (Ed. Paris. 1627.) 
Athanasius, Ad Imperator Constant. 



to chastity. S. Paul had declared that marriage was honourable 
in all ; and the liberty received from our fathers should be left 
to our posterity." This opinion prevailed. 

The synodal letter of the Nicene Council, recapitulating its 
proceedings, was addressed to the Churches of Egypt, Libya, and 
PentapoHs, in the first place, and in them to all Catholic 
Churches. The principal Bishops were ordered to make known 
the decrees of the Council to the Prelates in their various 
countries ; so that while the news of the triumph of the Faith 
was propagated by Osius to Spain, France, and Britain, it was 
at the same time announced by means of John, Bishop of Persia^ 
to the Faithful as far as Malabar and the borders of China. 

The Council was terminated on the twenty-fifth of August; 
ou which day Constantine gave a banquet to the Bishops, in 
honour of its conclusion, and of the commencement of the 
twentieth year of his reign, having deferred the latter ceremony 
for a month, that the two might coincide. Eusebius of Csesarea 
pronounced a panegyric on Constantine : and the feast which 
followed was one that might become such guests on such an 
occasion. The Emperor dismissed the Prelates with magnificent 
presents, and earnest exhortations to peace and unity. 

The Eastern Church commemorates the Fathers of Nicsea; 
the Western Church has not followed its example. 
Arabic ca. We must uow Say something on those Ecclesiastical laws, 
Nicrea: their commonlv kuowu bv the name of the Arabic Canons of Nicaea.^ 

aathority. . 

and considered by the Eastern Church authoritative. Isidore 
Mercator is the first Western author who mentions them ; and 
he appears never to have seen them, merely saying that he had 
heard of other Canons of Nicsea in the Eastern Church, which 
were of considerable length, and superior in size to the four 
Gospels. The Crusaders seem to have known nothing of them : 
nor were they accessible to Europeans till edited as genuine in the 
seventeenth century. Now, while on the one hand, it is absurd 
to receive them as the work of the Nicene Fathers, as the 
Orientals do, and as even some members^ of the Bioman Church 
have done, affirming that they took three years ix) compose, it i» 

I Renaudoty pp. 73, 74. 

' As for example, Turrianus and Abraliam Ecfaelleaats. 


equally wrong to call them false and supposititious^ and to 
esteem them utterly valueless. For all the Oriental Churches, 
as well Orthodox as Nestorian and Jacobite, are agreed in 
receiving them, and have done so for more than a thousand 
years ; and they are even held good in law, in those cases where 
by a special privilege of the Sultans or the CaUphs, the Patri- 
archs or the Bishops are allowed to act as temporal judges. 
They are, in fact, an Arabic version of the whole body of the 
ancient Ecclesiastical Canons, attributed by mistake to the Coun-^ 
cil of Nicsea. And this was not an uncommon error. So we 
find Pope S. Innocent quoting, by mistake, a Canon of Sardica 
for one of Nicsea, in his controversy with the African Bishopa 
respecting the right of appeal to Rome. That there was such a 
collection of Canons is evident from many writers, but more 
especially from Photius. They were first received by the Eastern 
Catholics, and from them borrowed by the Jacobites and Nesto- 
rians, as one simple fact proves. The forty-third Canon is 
merely a repetition of the last of the Council of Ephesus, the 
fifty-third of the second of Chalcedon. The Nestorians, there- 
fore, had they known its origin, would not have received the for- 
mer, nor the Jacobites the latter. The compilation was proba- 
bly made shortly after the rise of the Mahometan Empire, and it 
consists of three parts. The first contains, in differing MSS., 80, 
83, or 84 Canons; the second comprises 33 or 34; the third, 
entitled the Canons of the Emperors, embraces a variety of 
extracts from the Digests, Novels, and Constitutions of the later 
Emperors. And it is remarkable, that though some of these 
Emperors are, of course, by the Nestorians and Jacobites 
accounted heretical, those laws were by all the differing sects, 
as well as by the Catholic Church in the East, considered 

It is hardly worth while to note the extraordinary traditions^ oriental 
of certain Jacobite writers concerning the 2048 Bishops, whom the coancu. 
they affirm to have met at Nicsea; of whom, they say, 318 only 
maintained the Consubstantiality of the Son. Yet these wild 

^ Makrizi*s account, 115» — 136, length submitted to the Emperor, and 

where he makes the Fathers of Nicaea the 318 that sided with him, is equally 

to have been split up into every pos- extravagant and amusing, 
sible kind of belief, and to have at 



[book I. 

ance of the 

fables^ adopted from Mahometan authors^ have actually been 
appealed to by a Socinian author of the seventeenth century^ in 
defence of the blasphemies of that sect. 

The first employment of S. Alexanderj on his return to Egypt^^ 
was to compose the Meletian schism, Meletius^ after having 
given in the required catalogue of his ecclesiastics^ retired to 
LycopoUs^ where, as some will have it, he ended his days in the 
Unity of the Church. But some of his followers were more 
obstinate; and the Bishop of Alexandria found himself chiefly 
thwarted by three person^ : John Arcaph,^ Bishop of Memphis, 
CallinicuB of Pelusium, and Faphnutius, an anchoret, who had 
obtained an excellent reputation for piety among his own p«rti<» 
sans. These men betook themselves to Byssantium, intending 
to prefer a petition to the Emperor that they might be allowed 
to hold separate assembhes, on account, as they protested, of the 
harshness of Alexander.^ But Constantine, probably irritated 
at the ill-success of his conciliatory measures, would not so 
much as see them. They stUl^ however, followed the Court ; 
until, at Nioomedia, Eusebius, glad of any opportunity to harass 
his great opponent, espoused their cause, and presented them to 
the Emperor. But the interview procured them nothing beyond 
the reproaches of Constantine.^ These attempts, however, in- 
duced Alexander to despatch Athanasius to Court : and the 
latter, acquainted with the declining health of his Bishop,^ and 
foreseeing that the Church of Alexandria had already set its eyes 
on himself, was not unwilling to charge himself with the embassy, 
and thus to escape from the honour of the Episcopate. 

* He doef not aeevi to have left 
Niceea immediately. For the Coptic 
and Ethiopic Calendars celebrate tiie 
three hnndred and eighteen Fathers 
on Koyember 5 : not improbably, 
as Sollerins remarks, p. 38 a., the 
day of the publication of its letters to 
the Church of Alexandria. 

^ At least it seems probable, as Baro- 
niusobserves, 332. i., that the Johnwho 
had been named by Meletius, as Sozo- 
men asserts, the chief of his party, 
(though this seems fatally subversive of 
the report that Meletius died a Catho- 

lic,) but who, at all events, was a 
leading man among the Meletians, was 
the same with John Arcaph, of whom 
we shall have more to tell hereafter. 

> S. Epiphan. Her. 68. 

* Euseb. Vit. Const, iii. 23. 

^ This seems the best way of recon- 
ciling the account of S. Epiphanius, that 
Athanasius was sent to Court by Alex- 
ander, with that of Sozomen, that he 
retired of his own accord into some 
obscure retreat. That he also did this, 
on his return from Constantine, is 



Five months after tlite Council, Alexander was seized with as. Alexander 
mortal disease. As his clercy stood around him, he called for Athanasius 

_ «-i iiir-irj^*' SUCCeS- 

AthanasiUB. One of the same name, probably he who had Bor. 
signed the condemnation of Arius together with his more cele- 
brated namesake, stepped forward, but the dying Prelate took 
no notice of him, and thus shewed that it was another to whom 
he referred. In a few moments he again called for Athanasius, 
and repeated his name several times : when no one rephed, 
'' Athanasius,'^ said he, " you think to save yourself by flight, 
but flight will not avail you." And shortly afterwards, this and dies 
'' loud voiced preacher of the Faith," — so Theodoret calls him — saa.** 
was gathered to his fathers, after an Episcopate of fourteen 

A comparison naturally suggests itself between Dionysius 
and Alexander, the most illustrious among the Antenicene 
Bishops of Alexandria, as Athanasius and Cyril Were among 
those who subsequently filled that throiie. That in learning, 
talent, power, and influence with the Church at large, Aletxander 
was inferior to Dionysius, none can deny: at the same time, ofs. Diouy- 
if he defended the truth less powerfully, he also never gave a Alexander.* 
handle to a charge of heresy, except from heretics. Both emi- 
nently possessed a mild and conciliating spirit : but in ])iony- 
fliu8 it was tempered by firmneas and deciaion, in Alexandi* it 
sometimes seems almost to have degenei'ated into irresolution. 
The former, under Gon, reUed entirely on his own resources in 
dealing with enemies ; the latter evidently depended on those of 
his greater deacon. Finally, if Dionysius had the honour of 
confessing Christ in two persecutions, it may be doubted if the 

* The day of S. Alexander's death 
is not certain. S. Athanasius tells us 
that he died less than five months after 
the Council : oftrw 7«lf) ir4pT€ /x^vcf wap- 
ri\9ov, Koi 6 flip fuucapirris *AK4^avipos 
TtreKtlmiKtv. Apolog. ii. (i. 777 D.) 
The Chronicon Orientaley however, fixes 
his decease on Monday, April 17: — 
which would mark the year as 327. The 
Chronicon Alexandrinum also names 
Monday, hut makes the day to have 
heen the 18th. This would seem to 

tender that day very probahle : but 
this involves an insuperable difficulty, 
which we shall notice in its place, 
concerning the Episcopate of S. Atha- 
nasius. On the whole, the day given 
by the Roman Martyrology, February 
26th, seems as likely as any other. 
Strangely enough, S. Alexander is not 
commemorated in the Menology ; in 
the Ethiopic or Coptic Calendars he is 
named on Ap. 17. 



[book I. 

real sii£fermgs that Alexander underwent for His name were not 
the greater ; if the weariness and harassing nature of his Epis- 
tles to all parts of the Churchy the bitter opposition he received 
from enemies^ the lukewarm support afforded him by friends^ did 
not more than counterbalance the exile of Valorri^ and the 
plague and famine at Alexandria.^ 



S. Athana- 
8iu8 the 
A.D., SS6. 
A.^. 42. 

To write the life of S. Athanasius^ as it ought to be written^ is 
to write during the period when he- flourished^ the history of the 
whole GathoHc Church. It is plain that our limits must confine 
us to a concise sketeh of his actions and his su£ferings : for we 
are less concerned with him in this work^ as the great champion 
whom it pleased God to raise up in defence of the Faith^ than 
as the persecuted^ and finally triumphant^ Bishop of Alexandria. 
It is said by Bufinus^ and the story has been repeated by 
Sozomen^^ that he had been early attached to the service of the 
Church, and that from the following occurrence. Alexander hap- 
penings on the feast of S. Peter the Martyr, to look from a win- 
dow of his house towards the sea-shore, saw him, in company 
with other children of his own age, amusing himself by a game, 
in which one of them personated the Bishop, the rest his congre- 
gation : Athanasius supported the former character. Alexander 

^ Makrizi, § 138 ^ has a singular ^toiy 
about Alexander, which is not con- 
firmed by Eutychius. There was a 
solemn Feast of Saturn at Alexandria, 
on the 12th day of Hetur (= Nov. 6.) 
This he persuaded the people to change 
into a Festival in honour of S. Michael, 
retaining mo^ of the ancient ceremo* 
nial. The Temple itself was dedicated 
under the invocation of the Archangel, 
and stood till it was destroyed, in the 
358th year of the Hegira, by the sol- 

diers of Alimam^'al-moez-ledin-Allah- 
ibn-Tamim Mad. 

' The great difficulty of this account 
is the question of dates. A.s S. Peter 
suffered November 26, 311, the earliest 
period at which the event could be 
fixed would be the same day in the 
following year. We can hardly allow 
S. Athanasius to have then been more 
than twelve years old. And yet, in 
this case, he would have been conse- 


sent some of his ecclesiastics^ whom he was about that day to 
entertain at dinner^ to stop the game^ and from their and his 
own interrogatories^ he learnt that Athanasius had already bap- 
tized several of his play-fellows in the sea. Alexander^ the 
above namisd historians further affirm^ considered this Baptism 
. valid^ and thenceforth^ pleased with the bearing of th^ yonng 
Athanasius^ took him under his especial protection^ and in pro- 
cess of time made him his Archdeacon. But the story is^ to say 
the leasts very doubtful. 

The dying words of Alexander had left; no doubt that he re- 
commended Athanasius as his successor ; and his wishes met 
with general acquiescence. As the Deacon^ however, was still 
absent, the Meletians intruded a creature of their own named 
Theonas,^ into the vacant See ; but he died at the end of three 
months ; and when S. Athanasius returned, and was forced from 
the retirement to which his modesty had caused him to retreat, 
he was pointed out by popular clamour for the Evangehcal 
Throne. A large number of Prelates from different parts of 
Egypt were assembled for the purpose of giving a successor to 
Alexander, when the shouts of the multitude hardly seemed 
to allow them a choice. " Give us Athanasius ! the true Chris- 
tian, the ascetic, the true Bishop ! We will have none but 
Athanasius ! The Prelates shall not depart till they have 
elected Athanasius ! '^^ Glad to comply at once with th&i own 
judgment, the late Bishop^s recommendation, and the popular 
clamour, the Fathers pronounced Athan^ius to be him on 
whom their votes had fallen. 

An important accession was made in the beginning of the Epis- 
copate of the new Bishop, to the territorial extent of the Church 
of Alexandria.^ A philosopher named Meropius undertook a 

crated at the age of six-and-twenty, — a ^ S. Epiphan. Hser. 69. And see 

circumstance which must have been the Benedictine Editors' Life, 326. ii 

brought forward against him by some ^ S. Athanas. ApoL cont. Arian. 6. 

of his opponents. And the whole tale ^ Rufinus, i. 9. Socrates, H. E. i. 19. 

seems to involve a time of settled and Theodoret, H. E. 1. 23. Sozomen, H. 

continued peace: which a year after the E. ii. 23. It is plain, therefore, that 

death of S. Peter could hardly have Procopius is in error, when he says, 

been. If this difficulty could be solved, (Lib. i de Bello Pers.) that the Ethio- 

or if it can be thought not absolutely plans, or, as he calls them Azumites, 

fatal to the story, there seems no other were not converted till the time of 

reason for rejecting it. Justinian. 


journey into Ethiopia^ partly with the view of Batisfying his 
curiosityj partly with the desire of enriching himself by the 
productions of that country : and he was accompanied by two 
young relations^ Edesius and Frumentius. On his return^ the 
Ycssel foundered in a part of the Bed Sea^ and the men were^ as 
the barbarous custom of the Ethiopians then was^ cut to pieces 
on making their escape. The two youths were alone spared^ 
and being presented for slaves to the king of the country^ be- 
came^ from their good temper and talents^ favourites at court. 
Frumentius in particular^ was made secretary to the king^ who 
dying not long after^ left his queen and two young children^ 
Abreha and Atzbeha^ unprotected. The former besought the two 
Christians not to take advantage of the liberty to which the 
Monarch on his death-bed had restored them^ but to assist 
her in managing the affairs of the kingdom^ until her sons 
should attain a riper age. Frumentius^ thus invested^ as the 
more able of the two^ with the character of Regent^ endeavoured 
by all the means in his power to propagate the knowledge of 
Christianity : he invited foreign merchants to open a traffic with 
Abyssinia^ and gave both the sites and the materials for the erec^ 
tion of churches. Thus the Faith made great progress during 
the term of his government ; and he gave in a faithful account of 
his expenditure and proceedings when the young princes were 
considered of sufficient age to administer themselves the affairs 
of state. The queen and her sons would gladly have longer 
availed themselves of the service of their former captives^ but 
they were bent on leaving Abyssinia. Edesius repaired to T^re, 
his native place; but Frumentius^ whose heart was more in the 
work, hastened to Aleximdria^ and recounted to S. Athanasius 
the whole series of events. A Council of Bishops was sitting at 
the time; and the Archbishop^ on their recommendation that a 
Prelate should be appointed for Abyssinia, looked on Frumen- 
tius and said, in the words of Pharaoh to Joseph, ^^ Can we find 
such an one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is? " 
He therefore consecrated him first Bishop of Axum, and recom- 
mended him to the Grace of God in returning to the scene of 
his labours. 

It is a question of as much difficulty as interest, to determiife 
the condition of the Ethiopians, at the time of the mission of 




Frumentius. That this people has always retained a strong 
partiality for Jewish rites^ is an undoubted fact : — ^the practice 
of circumcision has nev^ been dropped. The only question is^ 
how far the Ethiopic tradition of the origin of this disposition 
has any foundation whatever in truth. 

The Queen of Sheba^ who came to Jerusalem^ attracted by 
the wisdom of Solomon^ is by Ethiopic writers affirmed to have 
reigned over their own country.^ They name her Makeda; and 
report that^ on her return^ she became^ by Solomon^ the mother 
of a son^ whom she named Menilehec^ but who was by his 
father^ under whom he received his educatiouj called David. 
On attaining to manhood this prince was accompanied by 
several of the Jewish nobihty to his own country ; — and from 
him descended the line of Salomonsean kings. In the time of 
Bazen^ the twenty-fourth of these monarchs^ our Load was 
bom : and thirteen of his successors wielded the Ethiopic 
sceptre before the arrival of Frumentius. When he returned 
with Episcopal jurisdiction^ Abreha and Atzbeha were still 
joint monarchs: and for their docility in profiting by the 
instructions of the Missionary^ and their zeal in propagating the 
Faith^ they were added^ by their grateful people, to the catalogue 
of the Saints.2 There seems no reason for beUeving that the 
Gospel had been previously preached in Ethiopia; or, if it had 
been, that it ever took root. 

^ It would be hopeless to enter into 
the dispute as to what country is 
really intended by Sheba. The ques- 
tion is discussed, but not satisfactorily, 
hy Ludolf, Hist. Ethiop. iL 3. ; and 
by TeUez, Tratado do que fizerao 09 
Padre8 da Compeaihia de Jenu i.,25. 
In favour of the claims of Ethiopia are 
Origen and S. Augustine : of those et 
Arabia, Justin, S. Cyprian, S^ £pi« 
pbanius, S. Cyril of Alexandria ; and^ 
mmongthe modems, Baronius, Soares, 
and most ably of all, Pineda. In be- 
half of the former it may be urged 
tiiat, though the rite of circumcision 
WUij hare been introduced in a different 
maimer, and yarics from that af the 
Jews, inasmuch as both sexes are sub- 
jected to it, still the universal tra- 

dition, the sacred dances, the royal 
motto, — "The Lion of the tribe of 
Judah hath conquered,'' the mystical 
ark, the intercourse between the Jews 
and Ethiopians, evinced, for instance, 
by the journey of the Eunuch of Can- 
dace to Jerusalem, do seem to point 
in that direction. 

3 This Festival is on the fourth of 
Baba (= October 1). Frumentius is 
commemorated on the eighteenth of 
Chiahae (= December 14), on the 
twenty-sixth of Abib (=sJiUy 20), and 
on the twenty-third of Tot (» Sept 
20). By the Ethiopians he is gene- 
rally named Salama, but also Fremo- 
natos; and from him the Town of 
Fk^mona takes its name. 



The Church foimded by 8. Frumentius^^ Apostle of Abyssinia^ 
exists^ though in a miserably degraded and heretical state^ at this 
day : and it may not be improper to say a few words with respect 
to its constitution^ in reference to the Mother Church of Alex- 
andria.^ The Bishop of Axum is often called Patriarch of Ethiopia, 
but this title is wrongly applied : his proper jurisdiction is that 
of a Metropolitan, but there are some peculiar limits to his power. 
He is never a native of Ethiopia, but an Egyptian : his nomina- 
tion and consecration rests with the Bishop of Alexandria alone; 
and he has the right of consecrating Bishops, so that the whole 
number in his province do not exceed seven.^ This, as the event 
proved, was a most unwise regulation ; it was apparently adopted 
at first by the jealousy of Alexandria, lest Axum should consti- 
tute itself a Patriarchate. As twelve Bishops were canonically 
required for the consecration of a Patriarch, the limitation to 
seven entirely obviated this danger ; but it has caused two great 
evils ; it has prevented the spread of the Gospel in Africa, and 
has been the occasion of the heresy of the Abyssinian Church. 
Two years must necessarily elapse before a vacancy can be sup- 
plied^ because of the length of the journey, and the period 
required by the new Metropolitan for acquainting himself with 

^ There is a difficulty aa to the date 
of the Mission of S. Frumentius. Me- 
ropius is said to have traveUed in imi- 
tation of the philosopher Metrodoms. 
But Metrodoms could not have re- 
turned before 324 ; because he found 
Constantine at Byzantium, in which 
place the Emperor could not be, till 
master of the East. Some persons 
have, therefore, thrown the ordination 
of Frumentius as late as 335, to give 
time, after 324, for the voyage and 
death of Meropius, and the tutelage of 
the young princes by his pupil. On the 
contrary, all ecclesiastical historians 
affirm the consecration of Frumentius 
to have taken place at the very begin- 
ning of the Episcopate of Athanasius, 
Without having recourse to the hypo- 
thesis of a double journey of Metrodo- 
ms, it is enough to suppose that 
Meropius did not wait for the return of 

that traveller, but followed him soon 
after his departure. 

' Renaudot, Dissert' Singular, de 
Patriarch. Alex. $ cviii. 

' The forty-second of the Arabic 
Canons of Nlceea forbids the Ethiopians 
to ordain themselves a Patriarch: or 
that any one of their own doctors 
should be appointed to the office: 
" because they are imder the power 
of the Patriarch of Alexandria, whose 
duty it is to appoint over them a 
CatholiCf who is inferior to the Patri- 
arch." We leam from the kindness 
of a Coptic Priest at Alexandria, that 
the various ecclesiastical dignities are 
thus expressed :— the Patriarch by the 
number 7 ; the Catholic or Metran of 
Abyssinia, by 6 ; an Ordinary Bishop, 
by 6 ; a Priest, by 4 ; a Deacon, by 3 ; 
a Sub-Deacon, by 2 ; a Reader, by 1. 


the Ethiopic and Amharic ; the former the language employed in 
the offices of the Churchy the latter that commonly spoken. No 
dues or offerings are expected by the See of Alexandria from 
Ethiopia^ but it is usual on the death of the MetropoUtan that 
the king and nobles should accompany their letters requesting 
the consecration of his successor, with suitable presents. In 
an (Ecumenical Council, the MetropoUtan of Axum would claim 
the twelfth place. 

The neighbouring Church of Nubia, the origin of which is 
involved in great obscurity, is not subject to the See of Axum« 
It depends entirely on Alexandria: from which it not only 
receives its MetropoUtan but also all its Bishops. 




The Meletians, by their artifices and restlessness, continuing to 
excite disturbances throughout the Diocese of Alexandria, and 
having now so completely cast in their lot with the Arians, that 
the names were used almost promiscuously, Athanasius resolved 
on a visitation of the Thebais, where these schismatics princi- 
pally abounded. He embarked on the Nile, and pursued his s.Afhaiuu 
course as far as Syene,^ the boundary of Egypt and the Dioecese SS'iMooeM. 
of Ethiopia. As he was passing Tabennesis, Pachomius, to whom 
his piety, his age, and his miracles assigned the first place among 
the ascetics of those parts, came forth to meet him with a large band 
of monks. Serapion, Bishop of Tentyra,^ would have pointed him 
out to Athanasius, and recomm^ded him for the priesthood : but 
the humiUty of Pachomius induced him to hide himself in the 
throng, until the Kshop^s vessel had passed by. Then he as- 

' Vit. S. Pachomiiy Holland. May pion is also named Sapricta, and 

14. Aprion, and is by some supposed the 

' Tentyra is also called Tentyris, same with Aprianns, who was at the 

and by the Arabians, Dendera. Sera- Council of Sardica. 


snred the by-standers that it had been revealed to him how 
Athanasins was ordained a great light of the Churchy and 
should suffer many things for the Name of Christ. 
A.D.S98. Eusebins and Theognins had^ for communicating with' the 
Euebiiuin Arians^ been banished by Gonstantine^ but they now found 
means to return to their Sees^ and to appease the anger of the 
Emperor. Having ejected Amphion and Ghrestus^ the legiti- 
mate Prelates of Nicomedia and Nicsea^ they were at leisure to 
bend all their efforts for the re-estabUshment of Arius^ who had 
ahready returned from exile^ at Alexandria. They then accom- 
plished the overthrow of Eustathius of Antioeh^ on a false charge 
of adultery; and next endeavoured to intrude Eusebius the 
historian into the vacant chair. The people flew to arms; and^ as 
the multitude were almost equally divided^ the consequences 
might have been serious^ had not the civil power promptly inter- 
fered. Eusebius^ however; though he was the deadly enemy of 
the Homousion^ had no mind to become a confessor for his 
A.D. S80. creed : and one or two Arians of less note were successively in- 
truded into the See. Asclepas of Gaza^ and Eutropius of 
Hadrianople next fell before the wiles of the heretics^ and a way 
was thus^ it was hoped^ made clear for the return of Arius. 
Arrangements having been made with the Meletians for the 
furtherance of the scheme^ Eusebius wrote to Athanasius^ urging 
him^ in the gentlest language he could employ^ to receive Arius 
he writes to to his Communion. At the same time^ the messenger who 
AthEDadoB. ^5jp.yjgjj ^jjg epistlc, had it in charge to add menaces to persua- 
sions. Athanasius disregarded both equally : Eusebius^ undis- 
couraged^ wrote a second time to the same effect^ and persuaded 
Constantine to dispatch an angry mandate for the reception of 
Arius. But these efforts were^ for the present^ in vain : Athana- 
sins persuaded tiie Emperor to acquiesce in his view^ and clearly 
proved that union between himself and his excommunicated 
Priest was impossible. 

On thisj the Eusebians^ who had probably thought that the 
greatest opposition would come from Asia^ and from the elder 
Prelates^ found that though in the Dioecese of Antioch they were 
carrying matters with a high hand^ they could only attain the 
MM«»ii^ of thek wiflhea by the overthrow of Athanasius. The 
Meletians were apprised that the time for action had arrived. 


They were at a loss for some time to discover a specious subject AthanasiiM 
of aeeosatiou; at length they dispatched three of their leading ^^^^ 
men> laioii, Eadsemon^ and Callinicos^ who appear to have been 
in the number of the Bishops consecrated by Meletius^ to Nico- 
media, for the purpose of bringing a charge before Constantine^ to 
the effect that Athanasius had imposed on the Egyptians an unac- 
customed tribute of linen vestments for the Church of Alexandria. 
Providentially, two Priests of Athanasius^s, Apis and Maearius, a.d.8si, 
were then at Court ; and by them the falsehood of the accusa- 
tion was made clearly numifest, Constantine> in a letter to 
Alexandria, condemned the attempt, and requested S, Athanar and acquit- 
aius to visit him. He Prelate obeyed, and was received witt ^' 
great honour. 

Eusebius had been prudent enough to retain the Meletiaa 
envoys : and they now, at his instigation, brought forward two 
new aceusaticms. The one was, that the Bishop of Alexandria 
had sent a chest of gold to Philumenus, an aspirant to the 
purple, of whom we have no other account ; the other, which 
attained far greater celebrity, was the famous history of Ischy<» 
ras, and the broken Chalice. On this we must dwell at length.^ 

In the Mareotis, which fonned the proper Diocese of Alexan- 
dria, was a hamlet called the^ Peace, of Sacontaruxum, the size of 
which did not enabk it to mftintain a separate Church and 
Priest. Isehyras, a man of notoriously bad character, who had [^'^ ^' 
received pretended orders from Cduthus, as we have mentioned 
above, thrust himadf into the charge fd this place, and hesitated 
not to perform the most sacred offices of the Church. Not 
more than seven p^tsons formed his Communion. ; and his own 
£BLther and mother remained firm Catholics. Informed by the . 
Priest, within whose parish the Peace lay, of these scandalous 
proceedings, Athanasius des^tched that Macarius, whom we 
have just named as hia vindicator, to summon Isehyraa before him. 
The Priest went; but as the offender was confined to his bed by 
illness, he left a message for him with his father, charging him 
to abstain from his sacrilegious attempt, and to intrude himsebE 
no more on the ministry of the Church. Isehyras on his reco- 
very found himself unable to maintain the shadow of authority 

^ S. Athanas. Apol. adv. Anan ii. (L 781.) 


he had hitherto exercised^ and joined himself to the Meletians. 
Under their auspices^ a tale was invented for the purpose of 
ruining Macarius^ and blackening the character of the Bishop 
by whom he was employed and trusted. Macarius^ it was said, 
arrived at Sacontarurumy at the moment when Ischyras was at 
the Sacrifice : he threw down the altar^ burnt the sacred books^ 
broke the chalice ; and (as tales never lose by repetition^) some 
affirmed that he had overthrown the church. The story re- 
fated itself. There never had been a church at Sacontarurum : 
Ischyras had employed for that purpose the house of an orphan 
named Ision ; there never had been a Priest^ and therefore never 
any sacred vessels ; it was not on Sunday that Macarius visited 
the place^ and therefore (the inference is remarkable) the Com- 
munion could not have been in course of celebration. Constan- 
tine^ who heard these accusations in a suburb of Nicomedia, 
recognized this falsehood^ and honourably dismissed Athanasius^ 
famishing him with a letter to the Prsefect of Alexandria^ in 
which the conduct of the Meletians was exposed^ and the 
Faithfid were encouraged. 

Ischyras^ who had been led by pique and the influence of 

others to propagate his calumny^ now came to Athanasius^ con- 

lacbyraa fesscd his Crime, and with tears besouG'ht admission to the Com- 

confesses. ^ ' ^ ^ 

munion of the Church.^ Athanasius called together the Parish 
Priests of the Mareotis^ with some Deacons^ partly of that pro- 
vince^ partly of Alexandria^ and in their presence Ischyras gave a 
written statement that what he had asserted was false^ and that he 
had been compelled to yield to the ill treatment of the Meletian 
Bishops, Isaac of Cleopatris^^ Isaac of LatopoUs^^ HeracUdes of 
Nicius. This document was attested by the Priests and Deacons 
who were present: but it was not thought right to admit one who 
had been involved in two schisms to immediate Communion. And 
the event proved the prudence of the measure^ for Ischyras re- 

1 Apolog. ad Constant. Imp. i. 781 , ^ This is to be distinguished from the 

D. city of the same name in Egyptns 

3 It was a city near Arsinoe, and in Prima, and derived its name from the 

Egyptus Prima: and this is the first oc- Latus, a fish described by Atheniens, 

casion that we hear of it as a Bishop. yii. 17. It also, under llie name of 

ric. It is now called Sersene, and was Asna, was long a Jacobite See. 
long the seat of a Jacobite Prelate. 


mained attached to the party of the Meletians. It appears that 
notwithstanding the retractation of Ischyras himself^ his parti- 
sans persisted in declarmg his charge well-founded^ and even 
invented additional circumstances^ for the purpose of throwing 
still greater odium on the Patriarch. 

As^ however^ his deposition or banishment was in no way ad- 
vanced by these effort's^ John Arcaph^ the acknowledged leader 
of the Meletians^ bethought himself of another method of attack.^ pretended 
Arsenius^ Bishop of Hypsele^ one of the same party^ was per- Areenioa ; 
suaded^ on the receipt of a sum of money^ to retire into seclu- 
sion ; and the Meletian faction instantly gave out that he had 
been murdered by Athanasius. To give the better colour to 
their words^ they invested their complaints with all the pathos 
and eloquence that they could command. '^ At least/' said they^ 
^^ if you have removed him from the worlds deny us not the poor 
consolation of paying a last tribute to his remains. Restore us 
his body ; it is all that we can now ask^ or that you can bestow. 
You can no longer dread him as an enemy : if you did violence 
to him in life^ it is the part of a foe to respect the ashes of a 
departed opponent.^' They carried about a dried hand in a box^ 
which they affirmed to be that of the Bishop ; and to have been 
severed by Athanasius for magical purposes. 

When some degree of odiuni had been excited against 
the perpetrator of so foul a deed^ they sent the hand to 
the Emperor^ demanding vengeance on Athanasius. Constan- 
tine wrote to his brother Dalmatius^^ committing the inquiry to 
him. The latter summoned the accused and the accusers before a.d. 3S2. 
him. Athanasius had hitherto despised the accusation : but he 
now discovered that it would be necessary to provide himself 
with a sufficient defence. He therefore wrote to the Egyptian 
Bishops^ requesting them to examine into the matter^ and to 
discover whether Arsenius were dead^ — and if so, to procure au- 
thentic information as to the time and manner of his decease,— or it is exposed. 
alive, and in this case, where concealed. A Deacon was charged 
by the Archbishop with the commission : and he pursued his 

^ Apol. ad Constant. I. 782 D. nephew of Constantine. But the Chro- 
Theodoret, H. E. i. 28. Socrat. H.E. nicon Alexandrinum asserts that he was 
L 27. Ruin. i. 15. his brother. The younger Dahnatius 

' Apol. ubi supra. This Dalmatius was now at Narbonne, attending the 
is said by Socrates to have been the lectures of Exuperius. 



researches to so good effect, as to discover that the Bishop as- 
serted to have been murdered was resident at the monastery of 
Ptemencyrcis, in the Thebais. To Ptemencyrcis he accordingly 
went ; but Arsenius was no longer there ; he had been sent by 
Pinnes, the superior of the monastery, into Lower Egypt. The 
Deacon seized on Pinnes and brought him to Alexandria : and 
the officer there commanding the troops discovered, in a judicial 
examination, that Arsenius had in truth been concealed at 
Ptemencyrcis, in order to give a handle for the accusation of S. 
Athanasius. Prunes then wrote a letter to John Arcaph, then at 
Antioch, and pressing the charge before Dahnatius, and advised 
him to withdraw the accusation of murder, since all Egypt knew 
that Arsenius was alive. This letter fortunately feU into the 
hands of Athanasius.^ Still, the subject of the imposture was 
not yet arrested. Diligent inquiry had discovered that he had 
been at Alexandria, and was now at Tyre j and at Tyre accord- 
ingly he was seized. He then resolutely denied himself to be 
Arsenius ; but Paul, Bishop of Tyre, convicted him of falsehood. 
The partial detection of this atrocious scheme confounded 
the Meletians; and John their leader, and Arsenius himself, 
requested to be re-admitted into the Communion of the Church, 
promising all canonical obedience for the future to the See of 
Alexandria.^ Undaunted by the ill success of his former plots, 
Eusebius had, at the early part of 333, exerted his influence with 
the Emperor to obtain the Convocation of a Council : and in 
March, Constantine summoned one to be holden at Csesarea. At 
this assembly, which did not meet till long after it was convoked. 
Council of little was done, and Athanasius and his Bishops refused to be 
Auguat, 334. present at it. Thenceforward Eusebius conceived that hatred of 
the Egyptian Church which never afterwards forsook him. 

While Athanasius was consoled and rejfreshed by a visit iBrom 
S. Antony, which, not to disturb the course of our history, we 
shall relate at a more convenient time, Constantine was persuaded 
to convoke another Council at Tyre, judging that Athanasius might 
possibly suspect Eusebius of Csesarea, of harbouring personal ill 
will against him : while Paul of Tyre was open to no such charge. 

* It is preserved by him, Apol. ii. 3. of the Council of Tyre: butthe testimony 
' Socrates (H. E. i. 29,) makes this of Athanasius himself is a far safer guide, 
event to have happened during a session * Pftgi> 334, ii. 


Sixty^ Bishops^ for the most part Arians^ were present^ and 
Gonstantine was tlie more glad of their meetu!ig at this conjunc- 
ture, because he had just completed a large and magnificent a.d. 33s. 
church at Jerusalem, and wished its dedication to be solenmized 
by a numerous concourse of Prelates. S. Athanasius, for a con- 
siderable space of time, refused to be present, knowing that the 
President, Placillus, Bishop of Antioch, was one of his great ene- coancu of 
mies ; and that the Count Flavius Dionysius, sent under pretence ^ 
of maintaining order, would be very willing to employ the secular 
arm against him. The unhappy Macarius was dragged before 
the Council, loaded with irons; and Athanasius was warned 
that, if he did not appear of his own accord, force would be em- 
ployed in his case also. On this intimation he went, taking with 
him forty-nine Egyptian Bishops, and among them the celebra- 
ted Paphnutius, whom we have before mentioned. Potammon, 
another holy confessor, was also in the number. 

On their arrival at Tyre, Athanasius was not allowed to take 
his seat among the Bishops, but was treated as a criminal.^ 
'* What 1 '' cried Potammon, addressing Eusebius of Csesarea, and s- Athana. 
burstmg mto tears; ^^ What I you too among the judges of 
Athanasius? You and I were in prison together during the 
persecution : I lost an eye in confessing Christ : how you es- 
caped unharm^, let your conscieuce tell.'' ''What I'' cried 
Paphnutius to the Bishop of Jerusalem; ''who would have 
expected to find Itfaximus among these men ? Did we not each 
of us suffer mutilation for our Lobb ? and is one of us now to 
occupy the seat of the scornful ? ^' Maximus, who had been de- 
ceived by misrepresentations, was then instructed in the real 
nature of the Arian charges ; and to the end he continued firm in 
the communion of Athanasius. Eusebius, on the contrary, in- 
stantly rose: " Judge," he said, " holy Fathers, what would be the 
insolence of these Egyptians, were they our judges, who thus 
insult us when theirs ! " 

1 Tillemont (yiii. 59,) argues very whom all were not Artans. We may 

plausibly against this number given by perhaps imagine that the first session 

Socrates, (L 28,) because of the diffi- was attended by sixty Prelates : or that 

culty of conceiving that S. Athanasius this number was more especially sum- 

with fifty Bishops, should have been moned by the Emperor, 

so unjustly condemned by sixty, of 'S.Epiphan.H«r.lxvui.7. (I.721.D.) 




[book I. 

The Catho- 
lics protest. 


The Catholics^ at the outset^ excepted against thirteen^ of the 
assembled Bishops as judges^ on account of their violent and 
undisguised hostility to Athanasius : but no regard was paid to 
their remonstrances. 

The first accusation brought forward was that conceiniing 
Ischjrras and the broken chalice; — but that, having been 
satii^actorily answered, was for the present dismissed, to 
make way for the following charge ^: that at the death of S. 
Alexander there had been a considerable difference of opinion as 
natioD otf*" ^ *^® choice of a successor, and with respect to the Arian con- 
rius^*" troversy; that the Bishops of Egypt had bound themselves by 
oath not to ordain to the vacant see, till these differences were 
adjusted ; that notwithstanding, seven Prelates had in a clandes- 
tine manner consecrated Athanasius; that the latter, finding 
many averse from his communion, committed great violence, 
especially at the Feast of Easter ; and that many of the Faithful 
at Alexandria viewed their Bishop with such sentiments of ab- 
horrence, as to abstain from worshipping in his Church. S. 
Athanasius replied, that to give these charges a shadow of truth, 
they should have been attested by at least one of the hundred 
Bishops over whom he presided ; and satisfactorily proved that 
he had been elected by the unanimous voice of the people, and 
consecrated by an unusually large number of Bishops. 
s. Athana- The Ariaus, in the mean time, were busy in inventing new 
offomica- calumnics against S. Athanasius. He was accused of having 
violated a virgin consecrated to God,^ and of having given her 

' They were, 1 . Eiusebius of Nico- 
media. 2. Eusebius of Ciesarea. 3. 
Narcissus of Neronias. 4. Theognius 
of Nicaea. 5. Maris of Chalcedon. 
6. Theodore of Heraclea. 7. Macedo- 
nitis of Mopsuestia. 8. Ursacius of 
Singidon. 9. Yalena of Mursa. 10. 
Patrophilus of Scythopolis. 1 1. Theo- 
philusy of whom nothing is known, and 
who is believed by some to have been 
the same with Theodore. 12. PlaciUus 
of Antioch. 13. George of Laodioea. 

' Sozomen, H. £. ii 17. And see 
the yery probable arrangement of the 
events of the Council, given by the 
Benedictine Editors, 335, 15. 

8 Rufin.i. 17. Sozomen, ii. 25. Bat 
it must be confessed that, whateyer 
Tillemont says to the contrary, this 
story wants confirmation. It is never 
mentioned by S. Athanasius himself: 
nor does it appear to have been brought 
forward at any of the Councils assem- 
bled in his favour: though a more 
strikingproof of the maliceof the Euse- 
bians could hardly be found. In short, 
it has much the appearance of a Catho- 
lie fabrication, designed to make up 
for the unjust condemnation, on similar 
grounds, of S. Eustathius. 


money to bribe her silence. The woman was brought forward 
in the midst of the Conncil^ and with many signs of grief 
repeated her story. Athanasius had concerted his defence 
with Timothy^ one of his priests; and when the tale of the 
woman was finished^ sat stilly as if merely a spectator. Timothy, 
on the contrary, replied, "You affirm then that I have been 
guilty of violating your honour V' " I do/^ repUed the woman, 
pointing him out with her finger, and adding the details of time histrium- 
and place. Those of the Bishops who were impartial spectators, ^ *^ "^ ^* 
could not refrain from laughing : Eusebius and his faction were 
covered with confusion, and drove the accuser from the place, 
in spite of the request of S. Athanasius that she might be 
arrested, for the purpose of discovering the author of the calumny. 
The Arians, furious at their repeated failures, now came to 
that charge which was the most heinous, and which they thought 
the best capable of proof, as not thinking that the discovery of 
Arsenius before mentioned was capable of proof before the Synod. 
They brought forward the severed hand of Arsenius, affirming that He is 
he had been murdered by the Archbishop of Alexandria. A mur- ^^ ^« 

* , , marder of 

mur of horror passed through the Council : when it was hushed, Aneniiu. 
S. Athanasius rose, and demanded if any of the Bishops then pre- 
sent had been acquainted with Arsenius. Many replied in the 
affirmative. He then sent to his own house, and in a short time 
a man, muffled from head to foot, was introduced into the hall 
where the Council were assembled. " Look well," cried S. Atha- Aweniug is 
nasius, uncovering his face, "and see if this be not that Arsenius p'®**'*®®**- 
whom I am reported to have murdered." The Bishops were 
astonished : those ignorant of the plot because they really believed 
Arsenius to be dead; those impUcated in it, because they 
thought him at a distance. Athanasius, pursuing his advantage, 
exhibited first one hand, then the other, of his supposed victim ; 
thus coiQpletely exposing the groundlessness and malice of the 
plot. The rage of the Eusebians at this discovery was so great, 
that had it not been for the prompt interference of the secular 
authorities, S. Athanasius would have been torn in pieces.^ 

They were not, however, to be so baffled. The Council, recurring 
to the first charge, decided that the treatment of Ischyras could not 
so well be judged at a distance from the spot, and appointed i^ 

> Theodoret, H. E. iL 30. 


deputation to visit Mareotis for the purpose of gaming such in- 
formation as personal examination might enable them to furnish. 
Commission Six of the most determined enemies of S. Athanasius. Macedonius^ 

of Inquiry , , , 

in the Maris.Theodorus.Theoffnius.Ursacius.and Yalens. to whom Theo- 

Mareotis! ' o ' .•■•.. 

doret adds Narcissus^ were appointed commissioners; and the 
Mdetians had already dispatched four of their own body into 
Egypt^ to smooth the way^ and to pack evid^ice. The Egyptian 
Bishops protested in writing agamst the whole procedure, 
Alexander of Thessalonica^ who possessed influence with Fla- 
vins Dionysius^ addressed a letter to him of the same tenor, — 
and^ as it at first seemed^ with some effect. The Prelates attached 
to the True Faith did the same thing ; but the faction of Euse- 
bins prevailed^ and the deputation set forth with a letter oi 
recommendation to the Prefect of Egypt^ and a cohort of soldiers 
for their safeguard. It is true that the Count cannot be charged 
with injustice on this score ; for^ on the complaint of Athanasius 
and his Mends^ who were afraid that an iniquitous choice would 
be made^ he wrote to the Council^ urging aU fairness^ and re- 
minding them that truths not condemnation^ was the object of 
the inquiry. But> by referring the selection to a Committee^ the 
Eusebians contrived to choose the commission as we have stated. 

On this the Egyptian Bishops^ to the number of forty^nine, 
drew up a memorial to Dionysius^ pointing out the visible injus- 
tice of the late proceedings and calling on him to put a stop to 
it. They also applied to Alexander of Thessalonica^ one of the 
oldest Prdates in the Church ; and he, who possessed great in« 
fluence with the County addressed a letter to him in behalf of 
Athanasius, which the latter has preaenred. Dionysius again 
interfered by a letter to the Commission : but no attention was 
paid^ and probably he did not wish that any should be paid, to 
his remonstrance. Thus convinced that no justice could be ex- 
pected at Tyre, the Bishops signed an Act of Protest, and, it 
would seem, also appealed to the Emperor. 

In Egypt, however, things went on very differently. The 
deputies found a most willing coadjutor in Philagrius, the pre- 
fect, who, being an apostate from the Faith, and a man of bad 
character, bore a particular hatred to S. Athanasius ; he not only 
gave the commissioners all the assistance in his power, but 
himself accompanied them into Mafeotis. Arrived there, they 


evidently shewed that they had abeady prejudged the cause. 
They lodged at the house of Ischyras ; the tendency of the in- 
quiry all was one way : and they would not allow copies to be their paipa- 
taken of the testimony. The Priests and Deacons of Alexandria 
drew up a firm but moderate protest ; they stated that Macarius rte aergy 
ought to have been brought into Egypt> as his accuser wasdria 
there; they claimed the right of themselves being present at the 
inquiry^ and called all impartial persons to witness that the 
refusal of this claim rendered the whole conduct of the com- 
mission in a high degree suspicious. 

The Priests and Deacons of Mareotis protested in a similar and Mareo- 

tis protest. 

manner. Ischyras^ they said^ had never been a priest ; he had 
never possessed a church; complaints had never been made 
against S. Athanasius by any GathoUc; they themselves had 
claimed to be present in the course of the investigation^ and had 
been refused. The former paper was signed by sixteen Priests^ 
and five Deacons ; the latter by fifteen of each. So that here^ 
in the immediate vicinity of Alexandria^ were fifty-one of the 
Catholic clergy bearing testimony in favour of their Bishop : and 
not one who in any way appealed against him^ or brought for- 
ward any statement prejudicial to his character. Jews^ Cate- 
chumens^ and Pagans^ were openly admitted and encouraged to 
give evidence : the most palpable discrepancies were overlooked, 
as when some of the Catechumens professed themselves to have 
been present at the irruption of Macarius, while Ischyras all 
along declared that when the Chalice had been broken/ he had 
already commenced the Sacrifice : if so, the Catechumens would 
of course have departed. To these facts, however, the Commis- 
sioners paid no sort of heed. On their return to Alexandria^ 
they openly persecuted the Catholics, and encouraged the heathen 
soldiery to every kind of insult against them, more especially violences at 

. — ^ - -^va Alexandria* 

against the Consecrated Virgins. 

On arriving at Tyre, they gave in their report^: and S. 
Athanasius being no longer there, (for he had thought it Qcces- 
sary to his saiety to hasten to Constantinople,) sentence of depo- s. Atbana- 
tion was pronounced against him. John the Meletian and his d^osed : 

^ Among the Prieste, the name of person whom we have twice had occa- 
Athanams occurs : probably the same sion to notice. 

3 Sozomen, H. E. ii., 25. 


party were received into Commimion ; Ischyras was raised to the 
Episcopate ^ ; and a grant obtained from the public treasury 
to rebuild the church which Athanasius was asserted to have 
demolished. The village thus^ contrary to the Canons^ erected 
into a See^ was as we have said so small^ that it never had up to 
that time possessed even a parish church. 

The Bishops were about to receive Arius into their Communion^ 
when a message was received from the Emperor^ commanding 
them to hasten to Jerusalem^ where the Church of the Holy 
Sepulchre was now complete. Athanasius^ in the mean time^ 
remained at Constantinople^ where the Bishop^ Alexander^ 
was a pillar of the orthodox doctrine. After the solemnities 
of the dedication^ the Council of Tyre was continued^ and Arius, 
on giving in a new, but equally unsound, profession of his Faith, 
was received into the Communion of the Church. 

The Emperor returned to Constantinq)le, and on entering the 
s.AthaQa. dty, was astonished by the appearance of Athanasius,^ who 

at Coostan- , _, _^ i » » • i** • i » ^ t t 3 

tioopie : thrcw himself at his feet, recounting the mjustice which he had 
suffered, and praying for protection. Constantine did not at 
first recognize him, and was for some time unwilling to have any 
communication with a man whom he regarded as justly con- 
demned by a Council. Athanasius called 6od to judge between 
himself and his accusers, whom he adjured the Emperor to set 
face to face before him, and Constantine yielded. The Bishops, 
yet sitting in Council of Jerusalem, were summoned to Constan- 
tinople. The messengers who bore the summons, found them 
about to condemn Marcellus of Ancyra, a partizan of Athanasius, 
and who though, as appeared afterwards, unsound in doctrine, 
was for a long time considered by the Catholics, chiefly on the 
strength of his vigorous opposition to the Arians, perfectly 

The Council was thus a second time broken up : and although 
the Emperor's letters desired the attendance of aU the Bishops 
then in Jerusalem, the Eusebians played their part so well, 
that six only were sent as deputies, and these six were the most 
powerful enemies of Athanasius, three of them having been also 
employed as commissioners to the Mi^eotis. 

miVetSent ^ ^^^^^ arrival at Constantinople, they dropped all their 

1 Apolog. § 85. 2 Apolog. §. 86. 


former calumnies against Athanasius^ but adopted a new charge^ 
which they considered likely to touch the Emperor more nearly. 
Th^ affirmed that the subject of their hatred had^ by his in- 
fluence with the people of Alexandria, obstructed the suppUes 
of com which that city was in the habit of furnishing to Con- 
stantinople. Constantine, who was tenderly jealous of the 
greatness of his own foundation, and who knew that without 
the granary of Alexandria it could not subsist, burst forth into 
fury : it was in vain that Athanasius denied the calumny; Euse- 
bius of Nicomedia pressed the charge, and Constantine too 
easily believed him. Indeed, on a similar accusation, this impo- 
tent prince, whom the adulation of the Eusebians represented as 
the chief pillar of the Church, had ordered the philosopher 
Sopater, an intimate friend of his own, to execution.^ Taking 
credit to himself for his clemency, he banished Athanasius to 
Treves in Oaul.^ Thus after a struggle of ten years, this holy he is ba. 
Confessor was given over to the will ot his enemies. He gene- °*' 
rously, in his writings, excuses the Emperor : the exile, he says, 
was rather intended to remove him to a place of safety, than as 
a punishment. And indeed Constantine shewed his suspicion of 
the Arian faction by refusing to fill the see of Alexandria with 
the candidates whom they wished to intrude. 

Five of his Bishops stood by S. Athanasius in the hour of his 
need; and four Priests, his most active supporters in Egypt, 
were also subjected to the same sentence of exile. 



Athanasius was received with great honour, both by S. Maximin, 
Bishop of Treves, and by Constantine the younger,^ who had the Fibrowy. 

' Eunap. Vit. Fhilosoph. ap. Baron. But the teBtimony of Athanasius him- 

336| X. self is express, that not a syllable was 

^ Sozomen, indeed, says, that the said at Constantinople on this topic, 

affair of Ischyras was the cause of S. > Apolog. § 9. 
Athanasius's exile, (ii. 28, p. 79, c.d.) 



s. Athano- chief Command in the Gauls, and resided in the city which was 

Bins at . ' . , i» V 

Treves. its then capital. Shortly after his arrival, the news of the 
Council of Constantinople under the presidency, it would seem> 
of Placillus of Antioeh, reached him with all its remarkable ooBie- 
qi]€»ees. Mareellus of Aneyra was dqx»ed, how jujsdy it ia 
impossible to say, on a charge of Sabellianism ; the work which 
laid him open to this accusation was one on that passage of S. 
Paul, ^^ Then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Hun 
That put aU things under Him '' : the reply to it, by Eusebius 
of Csesarea, is still extant. With this intelligence, Athanasius 
also received other tidings of greater importance. Wrought onby 
the Eusebians, the Emperor allowed Anus to be received into the 
Church; his faction desired S. Alexander of Constantinople, 
then more than ninety years old, to do so : he refused ; they 
threatened him with deposition if he would not comply : he per- 
sisted j they by the mouth of Constantine named a certain day 
on which Arius should be received; the city was in consterna- 
tion ; arguments and entreaties were bootless ; by tbe advice of S. 
James of Nisibis, then present, the Catholics discontinued them, 
and had recourse to prayer alone ; the Friday night was spent by 
Alexander in earnest supplications that God would stretch forth 
his right arm ; the morning dawned ; the triumph of the Arians 
seemed complete; Arius was led in procession round the city; 
S. Alexander still persevered in prayer; the day was wearing 
away ; the CathoUcs began to despair ; at three in the afternoon, 
Arius, then in the square of Constantine, was struck by the 
Hand of God, and gave up the ghost; the Catholics crowded 
the churches to return thanks for their deliverance ; many Arians 
were converted ; and the place of the archheretic's death was 
long held accursed. 

TheAiexan- In the meantime, the people of Alexandria were not idle. 

drianspeti- __ *•'',. 

tionforthe They wcrc earnest in their suppUcations to God that He would 

return ofS. i-n « i^ *•»*•»/»■* 

Athanasias. opcu the EmperoF s cycs, and to Gonstantme himself they ad- 
dressed a memorial, praying him to recall their Bishop. S. 
Antony himself wrote again and again to the same effect ; but 
Constantine, now drawing near the end of his days, turned a 
deaf ear to all petitions. He upbraided the Alexandrians with 
folly, in desiring the return of an ambitious and turbulent Fre- 

» Apolog. §. 87. 

Death of 


late; he conmianded the Priests and Consecrated Yirgms to 
concern themselves no more in the affair^ and professed his fixed 
determination to abide by his resolve. To S. Antony he repre- 
sented the probabihty that the few who attached themselves 
conscientiously to the party of Athanasius might be mistaken 
through ignorance or party feeling : while At was not to be sup- 
posed that the decision of the many pious Bishops who had 
condemned him could err through the one^ or be influenced by 
the other. At the same time^ as John Arcaph was intriguing 
at Alexandria^ Constantine^ in spite of aU the efforts of the 
Eusebians^ banished him also. 

Shortly after came tidings of the baptism of Constantine^ 
who had till then deferred that Sacrament^ by Eusebius of 
Nicomedia^ and his subsequent death. He is reckoned by the Death of 
Greek Church among the Saints ; the Latin Church has judged 
more soberly and reasonably in denying him the title^ although 
reckoning him in a certain sense one of the greatest benefactors 
that the Faithfdl have ever known. 

In spite of all the efforts of Eusebius^ the dying Emperor 
gave strict commands for the recall of Athanasius; and^ it is 
said^ reiterated these injunctions in his will. But^ whatever 
might be the reason^ the exiled Prelate did not^ or could not^ at 
once avail himself of this permission. It is a tradition at 
Treves^ that he principally dwelt in a caveruj which is still 
shewn^ and is in the precincts of the late abbey of S. Maxi- 
min ; and that^ in this place^ he composed the Hymn Quicun- 
que FulL The last part of this assertion is undoubtedly false; 
the former is probable enough. 

The division of the empire followed : — Constantine^ the friend 
of S. Athanasius^ had all the territory beyond the Alps ; Con- 
stantius^ Egypt and the East; Constans^ Italy^ lUyria^ and 
A£dca. From the share of Constantius must be subtracted 
Armenia and Cappadocia; from that of Constantine^ Achaia 
and Macedonia^ which had before been apportioned to Hanni- 
balianus and Dalmatius. These^ however^ having been mur- 
dered by the soldiers^ not^ it is said^ without the instigation or 
connivance of Constantius^ these provinces were annexed by the 
respective emperors to their own shares. 

Constantius was soon gained by the Arians ; and Eusebius of a.d. 338. 


Nicomedia resolved, by the Emperor's authority, to fill the See 
of Alexandria with a partizan of that heresy. Constantine 
however prevented this occurrence by determining to send 
June 17, 338. AthanasiuB to his own Church : a resolution which he well knew 
Constantius would not venture to oppose. He therefore ad- 
dressed a letter to the Faithful of Alexandria, in which he ex- 
horted them to receive their Prelate with joy, as a true preacher 
of the Law of Christ ; and menaced his calumniators with the 
severest punishment. Athanasius accompanied Constantine into 
Pannonia, whither he went to confer with his brothers on the 
division of the empire, and had an interview with Constantius 
at Viminiacum, a city of Moesia. He here procured the recall 

the indulgence of Pope S. Julius, as to expel several Anan 
Prelates who had intruded themselves into the Sees of the cities 
through which he passed. After a short stay at Constantinople 
he proceeded into Cappadocia, and had a second interview with 
Constantius at Csesarea ; and so, in the autumn, he arrived at 

Return of s. Alexandria. The burst of exultation with which he was re- 
' ceived is reported to have exceeded the usual demonstrations 
with which the Emperor himself was wont to be welcomed. 

The return of S. Athanasius, though doubtless in itself most 
justifiable, nevertheless gave a greater handle to his enemies 
than any other action of his life. By a Council, they said, he 
had been deposed ; by a Council therefore he ought to have been 
restored. But their complaints were drowned in the burst of 
joy which greeted the passage of the exiled Bishop through 
Syria to Egypt. Marcellus of Ancyra, still held to be a Catho- 
lic, and probably erring rather in words than in meaning, took 
the same opportunity of returning to his See. 

A.D. 340. Full of indignation at the return of Athanasius, the Euse- 
bians invented another calumny against him. Constantine, 
after the Council of Nicsea, had by public ordinance decreed 
that in every city a certain quantity of com should be set apart 
for the ecclesiastics, the widows, and the Consecrated Virgins ; 
and more especially for the Sacrifice, in places where, as in 
Libya, the soil did not produce com. This portion, freely dis- 
tributed by Athanasius, was affirmed by his enemies to have 
been disposed of by him to his own advantage. This charge 


was in vain denied^ and the Arians then drew up a memorial to 
the three Emperors, embodying this with other accusations. 
They obtained, however, neither his death nor his banish- 
ment, evidently as they longed for either; but Constantius was 
weak enough to credit the charge with respect to the com, and 
wrote a letter to the Prelate upbraiding him with avarice. 
Many of the Egyptian Bishops came forward with an attestation ai>* %»• 
of his innocence : and thus this accusation fell to the ground. 

The Eusebians, who had already, by the unjust deposition of 
S. Paul of Constantinople, seated their patron on that throne, 
now assembled in considerable force at Antioch, and pretending 
that the See of Alexandria was vacant, proceeded to fill it with 
that Pistus whose deposition we have already mentioned. piBtaa 
That the deposed Priest might not want a suitable consecrator, by°the 
Secundus, Ex-Bishop of Ptolemais, took upon himself that Bishop of 
office. It does not appear that the civil power gave any en- 
couragement to this monstrous act ; and it was by God's good 
Providence attended with happy efiects. It was desirable to 
obtain the recognition of Pistus by the Roman See : to this end 
his friends dispatched a Priest and two Deacons to Rome, who 
carried with them the information that had been collected in the 
Mareotis. Julius forwarded them to Athanasius, and he dis- 
patched his own legates to Rome. The Arian deputies, who 
eiqiected nothing less, were thrown into consternation; Macarius, 
though sick, left the city by night ; the Deacons Martyrius 
and Hesychius, who, with greater efirontery, stood to their 
charges, were covered with confusion. 

The same legates were charged with another important docu- 
ment. The Bishops of Egypt, whether at the suggestion of 
Athanasius, or from their feeling that to allow him to bear 
alone the brunt of the storm was, so far as in them lay, to 
betray the truth, met in Council at Alexandria to the num- $J^^^ 
ber of nearly one hundred; and addressed a synodal epistle 
to all Catholic Prelates, which S. Athanasius has preserved. 
In it they set forth the entire innocence of Athanasius, the 
gross and impudent falsehoods of his adversaries, the pre- 
posterous conduct of Eusebius who, himself guilty of the 
greatest violations of the Canons, ventured to upbraid the 
Bishop of Alexandria with his pseudo-deposition at Tyre; and 



S. Athana- 



Council of 

conclude with the information that the Eusebians had now 
thrown off the mask, were making common cause with the pure 
Arians, and were openly communicating with them in Egypt. 

On the receipt of these missives, JuUus resolved on convoking 
a Council, where the point in question might be decided. To 
this the deputies of S. Athanasius willingly assented, while those 
of the Arians could not venture directly to decline the proposal. 

Athanasius himself went to Bome, where also a memorial 
arrived to Pope JuUus, signed by sixty-three Bishops of Asia, 
Phrygia, and Isauria, in his favour. But whether or not the 
Pontiff ever had proceeded so far as actually to separate Atha- 
nasius from his Conmiunion, certain it is, that he regarded him 
with some suspicion : and perhaps justly, but not generously, 
endeavoured to bear himself as an impartial judge between two 
contending parties. 

Athanasius waited at Rome during eighteen months, in the 
vain hope that his adversaries would bring their formal charge 
against him, and that the matter would come to a trial. The 
Council was fixed for the middle of the year 841, and the 
Eusebians were invited to attend. In the meantime. Bishops 
from all parts of the Church, among whom Marcellus of Ancyra 
was the most eminent, continued to arrive in Rome, in hopes of 
their obtaining that justice which their Arian persecutors had 
denied them. The Eusebians were compelled to declare that in 
their opinion no Council was necessary ; the event shewed how 
much reliance was to be placed on their words. 

Constantine had been, in the preceding year, murdered by the 
troops of his brother, Constans ; so that Constantius was at liberty 
to follow his own pleasure regarding Athanasius. Ten years 
previously the elder Constantine had commenced a church of 
rare magnificence at Antioch ; and his son had now completed it. 
The Eusebians gladly took advantage of the solemnity of the 
dedication to assemble a Council of ninety-seven Bishops;— <- 
and the Synod of Antioch is one of the most famous in Eccle- 
siastical History. With its three Creeds, none of them Arian, 
and yet none fully Catholic, we have nothing to do; we are here 
concerned with its treatment of S. Athanasius alone. Among 
the twenty-five Canons which xmder its name have been received 
by all the Church, two, though not in themselves objectionable. 


were evidently intended by the Eusebians as fatal weapons 
against Athanasius. 

The Fourth Canon provided^ that if a Bishop deposed by a 
Council, or a Priest or Deacon deprived by his Bishop, pre- 
sumed to exercise his office, he should not be capable of restora- 
tion even in another Council. The twelfth Canon ordered that 
if a Bishop or Priest, under the like circumstances, should appeal 
to the Emperor, his pimishment should be the same. 

It is easy to see that Athanasius had laid himself open to 
the penalty pronounced in both cases. Constantius was at 
Antioch, assisting at the Synod, and the Arian portion of the 
Council importuned him to allow the Canons to be put in force 
against the Bishop of Alexandria, dwelling on their old as well 
as their later calumnies against him. The Emperor did not, or 
would not, see the flagrant injustice of an ex post facto 
application of Canons, and consented. 

The next difficulty of the Arians was to choose another Bishop 
for Alexandria. Eusebius of Emissa, a learned Prelate, and 
voluminous author, though afterwards suspected of Sabellianism, 
was first proposed, but he declined the dignity. Gregory of Gregory 
Cappadocia was then brought forward. He had spent much of Bishop of 
his time at Alexandria, had been kindly treated by Athanasius, 
and had requited his benevolence by becoming one of his 
calumniators. This ordination was entirely contrary to the 
Canons; and, fearing great opposition at Alexandria, the 
Eusebians obtained an escort from the Emperor for the new 
Bishop, and the re-appointment of Philagrius (who had before 
distinguished himself in the inquiry with respect to Ischyras), 
as Prefect of Egypt. 

Grefforv and his followers arrived at Alexandria towards the he enters 

o •' , Alexandria : 

end of Lent ; and the excesses which they committed are beyond 
description. The imperial edict, treating Athanasius as deposed, 
and his successor as the orthodox Bishop, was pubhshed by 
Philagrius the Apostate : young men of debauched lives, Jews, 
and Pagans, were encouraged to attack the Catholic churches, 
to wound the monks, to insult the virgins, and even to kill some 
of the worshippers. Heathen sacrifices were offered on the altar 
of the church of Quirinus j in its baptistery such enormities his 
were committed as cannot be mentioned. On Good Friday, 


Gregory and Fhilagrius entered another church, and, as a 
punishment for the horror everywhere evinced at their horrible 
proceedings, caused thirty-four persons, as well married women 
and virgins, as men of high family, to be publicly scourged. 
Athanasius, whom the affairs of his Church had again called to 
Alexandria, finding that his presence only increased the disturb- 
Athaaasins aucc. wlulc hc was uttcrlv uuable to render any assistance to 

ag^ain saila i /» 

for Rome, the Catholics, embarked for Rome.^ 

On Easter Day, Gregory threw many CathoUcs into prison, 
and attacked several churches. He drew up a series of charges 
against Athanasius, signed, for the most part, by Pagans, and 
filled with such enormities as to deserve no punishment short 
of death. 

Gregory not only possessed himself of all the churches, but 
forbade, under severe penalties, the private assemblies of the 
Catholics. The dying departed without the viaticum ; children 
remained unbaptized : better this, said the Faithful, than recog- 
nize the ministrations of the blasphemers of our Lord. Com- 
plaints were made in vain to Constantinople; no letters were 
allowed to pass. Gregory soon after began his visitation of 

Persecution Egypt : he pursucd the same course wherever he went ; Bishops 
were treated with the same barbarity which had been exercised 
towards the Priests of Alexandria. Potammon, the illustrious 
Confessor, whom we have already mentioned, and one of the 
Three Hundred and Eighteen, was beaten so cruelly as to oc- 
casion, shortly after, his death ; and the Church reckons him 
among the Martyrs. 



It is refreshing to turn from these bloody scenes to the quiet 
life of S. Antony. At the age of ninety, he was tempted to 
consider himself the most perfect of all the Monks. That night 
it was revealed to him that he had overrated his attainments, 
there being a hermit who had made greater advances in holiness, 

> S. Athanas. Epist. Encyc. 2, 3. 



whom he was exhorted to visit. Three days' journey brought s. Antony 
him to the cell of S. Paul, the first hermit, then in the ninetieth s. Paul: 
year of his solitary life. They knew each other at once, though 
they had never before met : and the raven that had brought half 
a loaf daily for the supply of Paul's wants, on that day came 
charged with a double portion. S. Paul knew by revelation that 
the hour of his departure was at hand ; after sharing his repast 
with his guest, and spending the night in prayers and psalms, 
willing to spare S. Antony the pain of witnessing his death, he 
requested him to fetch him a mantle which S. Athanasius had 
bestowed on him. Antony returned with speed to his monastery 
for the purpose of bringing it : on coming back again, he beheld 
in a vision the soul of S. Paul carried by Angels into Heaven. 
Hastening onward to the cell, he found the corpse of the hermit death of the 
in an attitude of prayer, and bitt(^ly lamented that he had 
known so late one whom he had lost so soon. 

Antony, as we have said, had already paid a visit to Alex- 
andria during the Pontificate of S. Athanasius. The occasion 
is related thus: — His disciples observed him in an ecstacy, 
which, after lasting about an hour, passed off. He threw him- 
self on his knees, and prayed long and fervently, shedding at 
the same time abundance of tears. When he arose, he warned 
his hearers to prepare for a severe persecution of the Church. 
*' I have seen,'' said he, " in a vision, an altar surroimded by 
mules, who were employed in kicking at and overturning it : 
and I heard a voice which said, ' My Altar shall be profaned.' 
Notwithstanding, my children, be not discouraged; — ^the Catho- 
lic Faith will in the end be victorious, and Arianism must be 
cast out. Only stand fast in the Faith, and resist the doctrine, 
not of Apostles, but devils.^ " 

Of S. Antony's disciples, we have already mentioned the wscipies oi 

S< Antony : 

Macarii. S. Paul the Simple held also a distinguished place s. Paai the 
among that holy fellowship. He was a pjoor countryman, who, 
till the age of sixty, had served 6od in the married state. The 
vices of his wife induced him to quit the world; and he took 
an eight days' journey into the desert, for the purpose of being 
received as the disciple of Antony. The latter rejected him, 
observing that he was too old for the monastic life; and that he 

1 S, Athanas. ViL S. Anton. xviU. 105. Bolland. Jan. 2, p. 137. 



had better return and serve God in the state to which he had 
been called. The fervour of the candidate induced him to 
remain three days without food at the door of the Hermit ; and 
Antony, won by his importunity and earnestness, at length 
admitted him his disciple. After a long and rigorous practice 
of obedience, he placed him in a cell at three miles' distance from 
his own; and was accustomed to regard him as the hohest 
among his followers. Paul had the gift of miracles in a far 
more eminent degree than his great master; and to him, accord- 
ingly, S. Antony was in the habit of sending such sick or 
possessed persons as he himself was unable to cure. He had 
circ.A.D. departed to his Lord some time before the period at which we 

330. , • 1 , 

nave now arrived.* 

s. HUarion : S. Hilarion, again, was one of the most successful imitators 
of S. Antony. Bom at Gaza of heathen parents, he was sent 
to Alexandria for instruction. While there he received the 
illumination of Baptism, and at once changed a life of dissipation 
for one of penance. After a visit to S. Antony in the desert, 
he conceived the idea of following the same life in his own 

A.D.307. country; and to this end, at the age of fifteen, he tbok up his 
abode in a desert on the Asiatic border of Egypt. He here, 
though naturally of weak constitution, passed a life of singular 
austerity: but twenty years elapsed before he was known or 
followed. Then he was privileged to work his first miracle; 
and soon became the most celebrated of all monks for his super- 
natural gifts. From that time his disciples increased rapidly, 
and, as the Father of the Monks of Palestine, he enjoyed little 
solitude from the concourse of those who came to visit, to 
consult, or to be cured. On the death of S. Antony, — ^for we 
will anticipate the course of history, — he resolved to retire into 
greater privacy; and though opposed by the inhabitants of the 
neighbouring coxmtry, who assembled to the number, it is said, 
of ten thousand, to resist his determination, he went into Egypt 
for the purpose of visiting the monastery of Antony. At 
Aphroditopolis, he obtained the requisite information from 
Barsanes, a Deacon, who let dromedaries for those who wished 
to visit Mount Pisper ; and, after three days' journey through a 
fearful desert, he was received by the disciples and attendants of 

^ Pallad. Laus. xxviii. 


Antony^ Isaac and Pelusios. By them he was conducted over 
the various places which had been hallowed by their Master. 
Hence he retired to a desert near Aphroditopolis^ and was soon 
regarded by the Egyptians as him on whom the mantle of 
Antony had fallen. Distressed at the honour he received^ he 
went first to Alexandria^ and thence retired to the desert of the 
Oasis. His reputation still following him, after a year spent 
there^ he sailed to Sicily, and took up his abode near Fachynus. 
For a similar reason he left this retreat also, going first to 
Epidaurus, and then to Cyprus, wh^e, after five years' residence, 
he gave up the ghost with great calmness. " Go forth,'' he ^'^' 37i. 
said, ^^ my spirit ; what hast thou to fear ? Threescore and ten 
years hast thou served Christ, and dost thou dread death ? " 
The well-attested miracles of 8. Hilarion are more astonishing 
and more numerous than those of any other Father, with the 
single exception of S. Gregory the Wonder-worker. * 

Less celebrated than Hilarion, and yet a worthy follower, 
though not disciple, of Antony, was S. Isidore. He was the s. Isidore of 
spiritual director of many in the great desert of Scete ; and to 
the end of a long life persisted in the severest manual labour. 
He was principally remarkable for the gift of tears, — ^both that circ. a.d. 
he had sinned so much, and that he fell so far short of Antony 
and Fambo.^ 

For Fambo also was one of the great Fathers of the desert ; s. Pambo. 
and was to the Wilderness of Cells, — ^as that inhospitable tract 
of country was called, — ^what Antony was to the desert of Fisper. 
Here, eighty miles beyond Mount Nitria, in a soUtude where 
travellers directed their course, as in the high seas, by sun and 
stars, he laid the foundation of that wonderful brotherhood, of 
which we shall hereafter have to tell more largely. Of him the 
story is related, that towards the beginning of his course, he 
applied to another holy anchoret for spiritual direction. The 
hermit began to recite the thirty-ninth Fsalm : — " I said, I will 
take heed to my ways, that I offend not with my tongue." 
^' Stay,'' said Fambo, " that is enough : let me retire to my cell to 
practise it." In the seventy-first year of his age, he fell asleep a.d. sm. 
in the Lord, as he was engaged in his usual occupation of 
basket making.^ 

' S. Hieron. in Vitl « Coteler. i. 487. « Pallad. Laus. 1 1 7. 

N 2 


We can perhaps hardly calculate the prodigious influence 
which this noble army of anchorets must have exercised on the 
affairs of the Egyptian Church. The supernatural austerities of 
all, the wonder-working powers of many, the impossibihty of 
influencing them by hope or by fear, and the physical security 
in which their solitude placed them, rendered them a barrier 
which Arianism in vain endeavoured to assault. If, in after 
times, when Uttle remained of their original institution, except 
its austerities, they were powerful enough to lead nearly the 
whole Church of Alexandria into heresy, can we doubt that 
under God, and next to S. Athanasius, they were the means, at 
this epoch, of preserving it unshaken m the profession of 
the Catholic Faith ? 



On leaving Alexandria,^ S. Athanasius appears to have remained 
for some Uttle time uncertain whither he should direct his 
course. He lay concealed near the city for a few days : ^ and 
employed himself in the composition of his encycUc Epistle to 
all Catholic Bishops throughout the world ; in which he stated 
the proceedings of Gregory at length, and shewed that, as the 
danger was common to all prelates, so the defence should be un- 
s. Athaoa- dcrtaken by all in common. He then sailed to Rome, apparently 
Tbits Rome, after the conclusion of the Paschal solemnities, Easter havinc: 

A.D. 341 

May. ' this year fallen on the nineteenth of April. 

Pope Julius received Athanasius in the most cordial manner ; 
and again despatched legates to the Eusebians, requiring them 
to send a deputation without loss of time, for the purpose of 
making good their charge against the Bishop of Alexandria.^ 

1 We have assumed the double visit tions of Yalesius, and the Benedictiiie 

of S. Athanasius to Rome as proved Editors, 

by the very able note of Tillemont » Epist. Encyclic, .ii. 

(viii. 1133) in opposition to the objec- 3 Apolog. cont. Arian. xx. 


In the mean time, thFOugh the exertions of the two companions 
of Athanasius, during both this and his former visit to Bome^ 
the monastic system was becoming known and followed in that 
city. Ammonius and Isidore, for such were the names of these 
monks, were noted for their holiness of life, and contempt of the 
world ; Ammonius carried the latter quality to such an excess 
as to refuse, when in Rome, to view any of the pubhc buildings 
or other spectacles of interest, except the basiUc of S. 
Peter, i 

In due time. Pope JuUus received the answer of the Eusebians, Negoda- 

... . tioM with 

still in Coimcil at Antioch, to his summons. It recomized, in ^^ . 
general terms, the Primacy of the See of Rome, but excused 
the Prelates from attending the proposed Synod in that city, on 
the grounds of distance, shortness of time, and the Persian war. 
Julius for some time kept the letter by him, hoping that the 
Orientals would change their mind ; but finding no likelihood of 
such an event, he convoked the long intended Council. Fifty 
Bishops assembled in the church of which Yiton, the same who 
had been legate at Nicsea, was parish priest.^ After a careful 
examination of the causes of Athanasius, MarceUus of Ancyra, 
and S. Paul of Constantinople, the Synod acquitted all; and 
Julius announced the fact in a Synodal letter to the Fathers of 
Antioch. He severely rebuked them for their injustice, violence, 
and false excuses for non-attendance : and concluded his epistle 
by an assertion of the privileges of his See, and by reminding his 
brethren of the terrible account that they must one day render 
to 6oD for all their works. 

That account had, when the lec^tes arrived at Antioch, been arc. octob. 

. . , A.D. 342. 

already given in by Eusebius of Constantinople. But Julius, 
finding that those who now were at the head of the Eusebian 
faction, paid little attention to the Epistle of the Council of 
Rome, addressed himself to Constans, the firm friend of the 
banished Bishop. On his remonstrance to Constantius, Nar- 
cissus, Maris, Theodore, and Mark of Arethusa, in Syria, were 
ordered to wait on the Emperor of the West, and to vindicate 
the proceedings of the Council of Antioch. This they failed in 
doing : S. Maximin of Treves abstained from their communion, 

> Sozomen, H. £. iii. 7. ^ Apol. x. 


and a breach geemed on the point of breaking out between the 
East and West. 
Sketch of A second Council at Antioch produced a Confession of Faith, 
of Arianism. called Macrostichus, on account of its length ; it was not here- 
tical, but was declined by the Western Council of Milan, at 
which S. Athanasius was present ; the Fathers declaring their 
preference for the Creed of Nicaea. It was now plain that an 
CEcumenical Council would be the only remedy for the distracted 
state of the Church ; and by the consent of the two Augusti, it 
was summoned at Sardica, on the confines of the two empires. 
A.D. 347. About one hundred and seventy Bishops met : but to relate 
at length their proceedings would be beyond our purpose. The 
Western Bishops, about a hundred in number, remained at Sar- 
dica, Hosius of Cordova presiding; acquitted Athanasius and 
Marcellus, and excommunicated the heads of the Eusebian party. 
The Eastern Bishops retired to Philippopolis : and there, to 
the number of seventy-three, at the head of whom was Stephen 
of Antioch, excommunicated Julius, Hosius, Athanasius, Paul of 
Constantinople, and all their adherents. Thus the East and 
West were thrown into a state of open schism. 

In the mean time the persecutions continued at Alexandria. 
Public notice was given that if S. Athanasius or his companions 
retuiiied, it should be lawful for any one to bring them to 
condign punishment. A second Council of Milan prevailed on 
Constans to send an embassy to his brother, requesting the 
return of S. Athanasius, in compliance with the Council of Sar- 
dica. Constantius, however, foimd some pretext for evading the 
escape of the exiled Bishop, till the murder of Gregory by the 
Alexandrians, who naturally hated him, left him without the sha- 
A.D.349. dow of an excuse. Finding that the result of his longer refusal 
would be a civil war, he determined to do with a good grace 
that which must at all events be done ; and the letter which he 
s. Athana- wroto ou the occasiou to Athanasius, was by no means wanting 
recaued. in fair professions or obliging ofiers. Athanasius was at first 
undecided how to act ; but the result of a second, and then of a 
third invitation, each more urgent than the former, accompanied 
with the ofier of a public conveyance, convinced him that it was 
his duty to return. Leaving therefore Aquileia, which had been 
the place of his abode since thfe Council of Sardica, he waited 


on Constans at Milan^ and on Pope Julius at Borne ; and fur- 
nished with a letter from the latter to the Church of Alexandria^ 
exhorting them to receive their Pastor with all joy and thank- 
fulness^ he went by land to Antioch. Here he was favourably 
received by Constantius, who confirmed by word of mouth all 
that he had before written : and besides this wrote many letters 
in his favour^ and swore to the sincerity of his own joy at his 
return. S. Athanasius in the mean while carefully abstained 
from the communion of Leontius of Antioch^ assisting in the 
private assembhes of the Eustathians^ as the CathoUcs were 
called in that city^ from their last Bishop^ and one of the Fathers 
of Nicsea. The Emperor took the opportunity of askings not as 
a matter of rights but simply as a favour, that in consideration 
of the large body of Arians at Alexandria, Athanasius would 
allow them the use of one church. The latter at once consented ; 
'' but then/' he added, ''it is but just that the Eustathians, who 
are also a numerous body, should have the use of one church in 
this city.'' Constantius replied that he was satisfied with the 
proposition : but on consulting with his Arian Bishops, he found 
them averse from closing with it. "Arianism," they urged, 
'' will make no great progress at Alexandria, while Athanasius 
is there ; on the contrary, if the great number of the Eustathians 
comes to be known, their tenets will spread more and more 
extensively in Antioch." The Emperor on their advice withdrew 
his request.^ 

S. Athanasius, in his progress through Egypt, held ordinations 
every where, according to the pecuUar right of the See of Alex- 
andria. The joy of that city on his return was unbounded. 
Prelates from every part of Egypt were awaiting his arrival; 
multitudes pressed round him, as he entered : many embraced 
the monastic life as a token of thankfulness ; each house seemed 
for the time turned into a church; charity was extensively 
bestowed on orphans and widows; many among the heretics 
joined the CathoUc Church; many of the enemies of S. Atha- 
nasius openly retracted their sentiments ; many others who had 
appeared against him, visited him in private, assuring him that 
in their hearts they had always clung to his communion. In 

^ Hist. Arian. ad Monach. audi. Sozomen, H. £. iii. 20. Theodoret, H. E. ii. 12. 


the words of the Sacred Historian^ " there was great joy in that 
city/^ 1 

The peace with which the Church of Alexandria was Messed 
remained unhroken by the commotions which shortly afterwards 
arose in the Western Empire ; the murder of Constans^ the 
civil war of the three claimants to the purple, the battle of 
Mursa, and the final accession of Gallus as Caesar. But Libe- 
rius, having succeeded to the chair of S. Peter, vacant by the 
death of Julius, the Eastern Bishops took that opportunity of 
requesting the new Pope to refuse his communion to Athanasius.* 
A.D. 362. At the same time a memorial in favour of the latter was pre- 
sented from about seventy Egyptian Bishops : and Liberius and 
his Council at Rome remained firm to the Church of Alexandria. 
The Eusebians renewed their calumnies to Constantius, per- 
suaded him that the ill-will of Constans toward himself had 
been an effect of the machinations of Athanasius : that they,^ and 
the Emperor as well, were regarded by the Cathohcs as heretics : 
and finally, that Magnentius, the murderer of Constaus^ had been 
supported by the influence of the Bishop of Alexandria. Con- 
stantius, forgetting his promises and his oath, and being com- 
pletely under Arian influence, became daily more inveterate in 
his liatred to that Prelate : though as yet veiling his ill-wiH. 

The Arians, shortly afterwards, invented a method of annoy- 
ing Athanasius, of implication in which it is difficult to acquit 
the Emperor. They forged a letter, as addressed by the Bishop 
to Constantius, in which he requested permission to wait upon 
him in Italy, for the purpose of conferring with him on Eccle- 
siastical affairs. Accordingly, to the great surprise of Athana- 
sius, an officer of the palace named Montanus, visited him, and 
informed him that he was to be transported at the pubhc expense 
to Italy. The Prelate, after some hesitation, determined on 
remaining where he was : and explained by letter to the Em- 

' See the fine descriptioii in the among the fragmentB of S. HOaiy. 

panegyric of S. Gregory Nazianzen, (Ed. Bened. 1327.) But this letter is 

§ 17. well shewn to be a forgery, in the 

3 It has been asserted that Liberius Benedictine Edition of the works of 

was at first persuaded to refuse his that Father. Tillemont, (viii. 233,) 

communion to S. Athanasius, on the believes it genuine, 
strength of an epistle, to be found 3 Sozomen, H. E. iv. 8. 


peror the fraud that had been used. This behaviour was^ by his 
opponents^ treated as a crime of disobedience to Constantius.^ 

Athanasius despatched five Bishops^ one of whom was Sera- a.d. 353. 
pion of Thmuis^ and three Priests^ to the Courts to watch the 
turn of affairs. By the artifices of the Eusebians he was con- 
demned in a Council holden at Aries this year ; the Fope^s legate^ 
Vincent Bishop of Gapua^ and probably the same who had been 
present at Nicsea^ after much persuasion^ and with great reluc- 
tance^ signing the sentence. He, however, in some measure 
repaired this fault, by his subsequent noble behaviour with res- 
pect to the apostacy at Rimini. The news of this event probably 
gave rise to the composition of the great apology of S. Athana- 
sius, commonly called his second : it contains only a short intro- 
duction and conclusion of his own, the greater portion being 
taken up with a collection of documents which estabUsh his 
innocence. He afterwards appended some additional matter to 
it ; for, as we have it now, it contains allusions to events which 
did not occur tiU subsequently. 

Liberius, afflicted and indignant at the betrayal of the Faith 
by his legates at Aries, demanded another Council : it was sum- 
moned by Constantius, then at Milan, in that city. Heresy 
again triumphed. Athanasius was condemned ; but the Church a.d. 355. 
of Bome was no longer implicated in the sin. Liberius was 
banished; Felix, Archdeacon of Rome, himself a believer in the 
Faith of Nicaea, though communicating with the Arians, was 
consecrated Bishop of Rome, thus becoming an Antipope, and 
Hosius of Cordova was harassed and persecuted. A persecution 
broke out every where; the Catholic Bishops were in many 
places insulted or exiled; and to crown the misfortunes of the 
Church, in this year Julian the Apostate was made Caesar. 

Officers from the Court arrived at Alexandria, charged, as 
they said, with orders that all should communicate with the 
Arians ; and that Athanasius should present himself before the 
Emperor.^ Athanasius demanded to see the instructions of the 
officers, but they were not forthcoming ; and so many prepared 
to arm themselves in defence of their Bishop, that the Arians 
did not at once dare to proceed. Troops however were thrown 

^ Sozomen, H. E. iv. 9. ' Apol. ad Constant, xix, &c Hist, ad Monach. lii. 


A.D. 366. in from every part of Egypt ; and there appeared some danger 
of a dvil eommotion^ when the dispute was compromised by the 
agreement that Athanasios should be left in quiet possession of 
his Churchy till the Emperor's pleasure could be more definitely 
Imown. The Bishop addressed a circular to all his suffragans, 
exhorting them to constancy in the Orthodox Faith, by a reca- 
pitulation of the variations existing at different times and in 
different places between the Creeds adopted by the Arians, as 
contrasted with the One Faith of Nicsea; of the violences employed 
by their Prelates, and the remembrance of those Holy Bishops 
as well living as dead, who had exerted themselves manfully for 
Catholic Truth. 

Fenecntion ^^ "^P^^ ^^ *^® assurancc givcu that the orthodox should not 
at^Aiexan- £qj. ^j^g present be molested in their public assembUes^ as the 
A.D. 366. people were keeping vigil on Thursday night, February 8,^ in 
the Church of S. Theonas, the Emperor's officers, conducted by 
the Arians, and followed by five thousand soldiers, invested the 
whole place, rendering escape impossible. S. Athanasius re- 
mained in his Throne^ and ordered one of his Deacons to read 
the hundred and thirty-sixth Psalm, which dwells on the eternity 
of God's merd^, exhorting the congregation to respond, ^' His 
mercy endureth for ever/' and then to retire. The soldiers burst 
in : swords were unsheathed, and bows drawn : some persons of 
the assembly were killed by the arrows, and a general rush made 
towards the door. Athanasius still remained in his place ; the 
soldiers surrounded the Choir, or rather the Holy of Holies; 
the monks formed in a close body round their Bishop, and 
bore him off; but such was the heat, the violence, the con* 
fusion^ and the struggle^ that he fainted, and was carried out for 
dead. This is one of the events which may lead us to suspect that 
Athanasius was not a man of much physical courage ; and the 
rather to admire the grace which enabled him to give so long 
and so arduous a proof of moral constancy. 

The corpses were buried, in order to prevent inquiry: but 
those who fell on this occasion are reckoned among the Martyrs. 
The arrows found in the church were preserved, as incontestable 
proofs of the outrage ; the soldiers attempted to obtain posses- 

1 See Bolland. Jan. ii. p. 140. 


sion of them^ but were prevented by the Catholics. A protest 
was drawn up by the latter^ and forwarded to Constantius. So 
far from attending to it^ he addressed a letter to the people of 
Alexandria^ approving what had been done, and exhorting them 
to drive from the city Athanasius, whom, he said, he had only 
recalled out of respect to the wishes of his brother. HeracUus^ 
to whom this letter was sent, read it in pubUc, and declared that 
resistance to the wishes of the Emperor would be absolutely 
useless : if the inhabitants would not communicate with the 
Arians, their public allowance of com should be stopped ; and 
if the Pagans would not declare their readiness to receive that 
Bishop whom the Emperor should appoint, their idols would be 
taken &om them. It is hard to say whether the latter threat 
were more blasphemous or ludicrous ; nevertheless, it produced 
great effect. The Cathedral was shortly after attacked by 
Heraclius with a band of Pagans and heretics ; the same violences 
were committed that have been described in the church of S. 
Theonas : the altar, the throne, the seats, and the curtains were 
publicly burnt, and incense was offered in the fire to the idols of 
Alexandria. It was noted as a mark of Divine vengeance, that 
one of the rioters, who seated himself insolently in the Bishop's 
chair, was pierced by a splinter, and died in a few hours. 

During these troubles, S. Antony, who had now attained the Death of s. 
hundred and fifth year of his age, found his health gradually ^ ^^' 
decline. Calling two of his most favoured disciples to him, he ^ 
said, " My sons, as Scripture saith, I am going the way of all the 
earth : the Lord hath called me, and I am desirous to depart.^' 
After exhorting them to avoid all heresy and schism, he left one 
sheep-skin cloak, and a cloak on which he was then lying, to 
S. Athanasius : another sheep-skin to S. Serapion of Thmuis : 
and his vest of hair to those whom he was addressing. ''And 
now,'' he continued, "farewell ; Antony is going, — and will not 
be seen in this world among you again." AndyS^'m^pi^d 
to his rest. / '^''S *>^\ 




ASu-patri- One George had been ordained by the Arians for the See of 
^^^' Alexandria. Of low birth, he had first been a parasite, then a 

pork contractor for the army, then forced to fly on a charge of 
dishonesty ; and now he was made Bishop of the Second See in 
the world. He had probably been ordained at Antioch two 
years previously,^ and was by many beheved to be a Pagan : his 
very appearance testified the sensuality and cruelty of his dispo- 
sition, and he did not give himself the trouble to make any 
pretence to religion. He made his entrance into Alexandria 
during Lent ; and though behaving with the greatest insolence 
from the beginning, his principal cruelties were reserved for the 
week after Pentecost. Many were put to death for the CathoUc. 
Faith ; and the tortures invented for them by George were quite 
worthy of the most ferocious of the Pagan Tyrants, 
s. Athana. Athauasius retreated into the desert : diUgent search was made 
dcMrt.^* for him, but in vain: and the persecution extending itself, 
throughout the whole of Egypt, many Bishops were driven into 
banishment. S. Athanasius shortly after resolved on a personal 
appeal to the Emperor, and was only debarred when actually on 
his journey, by authentic news of the consequences of the Coun- 
cil of Milan, and a perusal of two letters of Constantius. One 
of these was addressed to the Princes of Axum, desiring them to 
send Frumentius, now at the head of a very flourishing Church, 
to be examined by George of Alexandria : in order, that if his 
sentiments were heretical, he might be sent into exile, or if 
approved, re-ordained. It appears that one Theophilus, an Arian 
Bishop, after visiting the western coast of Arabia, and the island 
of Socotra, came to Axum, and thence returned to the Court ; 
but neither his mission, nor the Emperor's letter, occasioned 

1 On this point compare Pagi 354, ix.; Tillemont, viii. 268; and Henry, iii428. 


any difficulty to Frumentius^ who steadily perseyered to the end 
of his course in the Catholic Faith^ and dying peaceably^ was suc- 
ceeded by Cosmas^ commemorated^ like himself^ in the Ethiopic 
Calendar. Athanasius employed the period of his exile in visit- 
ing^ and informing himself on^ the Monasteries of Egypt. He 
also composed another apology^ and addressed it to Constantius^ 
in which he clears himself from the charges of having sown dis- 
cord between the two Boyal brothers; of having assisted the 
usurper Magnentius ; of having celebrated the Holy Eucharist 
in the great churchy while yet unconsecrated ; (this was a new 
accusation of his enemies^ and he defends himself by producing 
several instances^ where in case of necessity the practice had 
been allowed by Bishops whom the whole Church venerated :) 
and finally^ of disobeying the Emperor in refusing to leave 

The tidings which S. Athanasius received in the desert grew a.d. 357. 
every day worse and worse. First, he heard of the persecution 
raised by Macedonius at Constantinople ; next of the creed of 
the Council of Sirmium, which, so far from pronouncing the 
Son to be Consubstantial, would not allow Him to be like in 
substance ; then of the persecution of Hosius of Cordova, who 
was more than a hundred years old, and had presided at 
Sardica, — of his courageous resistance of torture, — ^his fall, 
his communicating with the Arians, his bitter repentance, and 
death ; then of the fall of Liberius, and loss of the immaculate- 
ness of S. Peter's Chair : of the schism among the Arians, the 
one party affirming, the other denying, the Son to be of like sub- 
stance : of the persecution, under Eudoxius of Antioch, of the 
former, who assumed the title of Eusebians, by the latter, under 
that of Anomoeans, (from the Greek anomoios, unlike ;) of the 
Council of Ancyra, where the former party, though still wide 
of the whole truth, shewed some symptoms^ of returning to the 
Catholic Faith ; of the labours of S. Hilary in defence of that 
truth for which he was exiled ; of the project of an (Ecumenical 
Council at Nicsea; of the mischievous alteration, by which it 
was proposed to hold two simultaneous Councils of the East and 

^ Apolog. xiy. account of Palladius (viii. 136) is not 

3 Ammianns Marcellus, zxii. So- worth notice, 
zomen, H. E. iv. 10. The marveUons 


West ; of their assembling at Rimini and Seleucia respectively ; 
of the artifice by which the four hundred Bishops in the former 
place were led to subscribe to a formula which might be inter- 
preted to mean that the Son was created : of the deposition of 
George of Alexandria and other violent Arians^ at Seleucia^ where 
the Eusebians numbered one himdred and five out of one hun- 
dred and sixty Bishops ;i of the final victory of the Arians, by 
means of the Creed of Bimini^ over both East and West^ at 
Constantinople. Thus the whole world, as it were, became 
Arian ; and the Church Catholic was nearer to a general apos- 
tacy than she has ever at any otiber time, been permitted to come. 
Athanasius in the meanwhile had not been idle. He had 
addressed a letter to the Monks of Egypt, in which he at length 
exposed the vacillation and perfidy of Constantius. He wrote a 
treatise on the new Confession of Faith adopted at Rimini and 
Seleucia ; forcibly exposing the absurdity of imagining that the 
Faith had till now been unknown. And Macedonius of Constan- 
tinople, deposed as an Eusebian by the Anomoeans, having been 
the author of a new heresy, which denied the Divinity of the 
Holy Ghost, and his followers, thence called Pneumatomachi, 
or Fighters against the Spirit, extending themselves widely, 
S. Athanasius, in a third treatise, refuted his blasphemy. 

^ It has been thought by some, that Fathers, of the intercourse which must 

S. Athanasius himself was present, have taken place between two such 

though incognito, at the Council of pillars of orthodoxy as S. Athanasius 

Seleucia. The principal ground for and S. Hilary, the latter of whom, 

this belief is the expression of that then an exile in Phrygia, was aUowed 

Father himself, at the beginning of his to be present. There is a difficulty 

treatise on the Councils of Seleucia also in the numbers of the Prelates 

and Rimini, where he says that he will who met at Seleucia. Socrates says, 

relate 2ircp kf&paKa icai ^V9t» iucpifius, that the number of pure Arians was 

But in the first place, it is hardly 34 ; S. Epiphanius, 43 ; but S. Hilary 

likely that one, who was compelled {contra Const. 12) reduces it to 19. 

to fly for safety into the remoter parts It does not appear easy to reconcOe 

of the desert, should be able, under the latter testimony, though that of an 

any disguise, to have left Egypt en- eye-witness, with the express asser- 

tirely, and ventured as for as Seleucia. tions of S. Athanasius, who makes the 

Next, if his words are to be taken whole number about 160, of Socrates, 

literally, they would imply that he was who fixes it at 160, or even Theodoiet, 

also present at Rimini, which would who makes it 150; since all seem to 

have been physically impossible. agree that the semi-Arians numbered 

Lastly, it is singular that no record about 105. See the Benedictine note 

should exist, in the writings of other on S. Hilar, ii. 452. 


The Church was now in a very low condition : Athanasius 
wa3 her principal support in the East^ and S. Hilary^ or rather 
his influence^ in the West : but God was raising up other cham- 
pions^ — S. Martin of Tours, S. Basil, and S. Gregory Nazianzen. 
If the Church of Alexandria were divided, much more was that 
of Antioch, split, as it was in a short period, into three factions ; 
the Eustathians, or old Catholic party : the Meletians, or follow- 
ers of Meletius, a Catholic in heart, (though consecrated by the 
Eusebians,) and reckoned among the Saints ; and the Euzoians, 
or pure Arians, so called firom their lately advanced Bishop 
Euzoius, one of those Deacons whom S. Alexander of Alexandria 
had excommunicated in the beginning of the troubles. It is 
necessary here to note this, because this schism led to important 
consequences. The bright spot in the horizon of the Church 
was the increasing inclination of the Eusebians to return to the 
True Faith ; they seemed startled at the depths of impiety into 
which their scheme led, when consistently carried out ; and when 
they had to decide between the Consubstantial and the DissU 
milar in Stibstance, seldom failed to prefer the former. 

Such was the state of things when Julian declared himself 
Emperor at Paris, but offered to share the world with Constan- 
tius. The latter, preparing to march against him, fell ill of a 
fever ; and finding his illness mortal, received baptism from the 
hands of Euzoius the Arian, and shortly after departed this life. 

Julian succeeded peaceably: and to shew his contempt of 
Christianity proclaimed a general toleration for all sects, and 
liberty for the exiled Bishops to return. Of this edict Athana- 
sius did not dare to avail himself, on account of the violences 
committed by George in Alexandria. But the end of this 
wretched man was approaching. 

Artemius, general of the forces in Egypt, was accused by the 
Pagans to Julian of having deprived the temples of their dues, 
and appropriated their wealth to other uses ; and his head was 
struck off by the Emperor^s order, at Antioch. George had 
irritated the heathen in a similar way, and they now turned 
their fiiry against him.^ Odious to the Catholics for his perse- 
cutions and blasphemies, disliked by the Arians for his vaciHa- 

> Socrat. H. E. iii. 2. Sozomen. H. E. iv. 30. 



[book I. 

Murder of 

S. Athana- 
sius again 
A.D. 302. 

tion and time-servingness^ he now offended the Pagans by bring- 
ing to light the cruelties attendant on the worship of Mithras, 
having discovered the skeletons of those who had been its vic- 
tims, when building a church on the spot once appropriated to 
those rites. The Gentiles could not endure this exposure of 
their enormities ; they assaulted the church where George was, 
slew several of his adherents, and tying cords to his feet, and to 
those of two of his friends, dragged them up and down the city 
till life was extinct ; then burning them on the sea shore, they 
scattered their ashes on the waves, fearing that their victims 
might be honoured as martyrs ; an apprehension most certainly 
groundless, so far as respects the tyrant and the blasphemer 
George. Julian overlooked the riot, though not failing in his 
epistle to blame^ the Alexandrians for the want of reverence it 
evinced to their god Serapis. 

S. Athanasius lost no time in returning to Alexandria : and 
mounted pn an ass, he made his entry into that city. The same 
joy prevailed as on his previous restoration. Roofs, walls, and 
battlements were thronged ; incense was burnt, and torches lit ; 
the CathoUcs present from all parts in the great mart of the 
world, vied with each other in doing honour to the Confessor : 
the inhabitants of Alexandria, in different divisions, according to 
their age and sex, gave welcome to their Bishop : there were 
feasts in public, and banquets in private. The Arians were 
driven from their churches ; the Mystery of the Most Holy and 
Gonsubstantial Trinity was again preached in them : and no- 
thing distinguished the Professors of the CathoUc Faith more 
illustriously than the gentleness with which their persecutors 
were treated.^ Those Arians who still retained their heresy, 
obtained episcopal consecration for Lucius, a Priest ordained by 

A Council was next held at Alexandria, at which S. Eusebius 
of Verceil, an illustrious Confessor for the Faith in the West, 
was present : he, and the celebrated Lucifer of Cagliari, had 

1 Socrat. H.E. iii. 3. Julian. Apost. 
Ep. 10. Philostorg. ii. 7, who lays the 
blame of the transaction to Athanasius. 
Ammian. Marc. xv. 7. 

^ S. Greg. Nazianz. Encom. 18. 

' It is difficult to understand how 
the Benedictine Editors can deny that 
Lucius was actually consecrated, 362, 
6. See Le Quien, il 403, 404. 


been banished into the Upper Thebais : and^ when the edict of 
Julian allowed them to return to their Sees, Eusebius proposed 
to go back by way of Antioch, for the sake of settling the dis-^. 
tractions of that Church, while Lucifer should repair to Alexan- 
dria, and give his assistance to Athanasius in the Synod which 
was then on the point of assembling. Lucifer unhappily pre- 
ferred to visit Antioch : and there, by consecrating Paulinus 
Bishop for the Eustathians, instead of inducing them to commu- 
nicate with the Meletians, he perpetuated the schism. He how- 
ever dispatched a Deacon to Alexandria, with orders to assent 
to what should there be done. 

The Council of Alexandria, on the contrary, was not more dis- councu of 

, I /. • 1 • mi Alexandria; 

tingmshed for its nrmness than for its moderation.^ The first 
business was to decide with respect to those who had been in- 
duced to subscribe the formula of Rimini. They had anathe- 
matized all such as should say that the Son of God was a 
creature like other creatures, meaning thereby^ that He was not a 
creature at all ; while the Arians intended to assert that being a 
cfeature. He was yet different from other creatures. The Bishops 
who had subscribed, protested in the most solemn manner that 
they had meant no harm : some further affirmed that they had 
only attached their names to the formula, in order that by 
retaining their churches, they might be enabled to exclude here- 
tical Prelates from possessing them. There was a difference of 
opinion in the Council on this subject ; some were for deposing 
all those who had subscribed this formula, or any other heretical 
Creed ; the greater part pointed out the tremendous breach that 
such a sweeping condemnation would occasion ; others wished 
that those who had fallen should content themselves with the 
Communion of their own Church, being separated from that of 
all other Churches. But in the end, gentler sentiments pre- 
vailed. The Bishops who had erred were only compelled to 
anathematize Arius, and to subscribe to the Creed of Nicsea ; 
and even those of the opposite party were received into lay com- 
munion, on renouncing their errors. 

The Divinity of the Holy Ghost, and the equality of the 
co-eteraal Trinity was affirmed by the Council, who next pro- 

1 S. Athanaa. Tom. ad Antioch. (i. 615.) Epist. ad Rutin, (i. 768.) 



ceeded to settle a point of dispute between two parties of the 
Catholics. The one asserted Three Hypostases in the Trinity, 
the other only One : the former were called Arians, the latter 
Sabellians, by their opponents. S. Athanasius perceived that 
the Faith of both parties was orthodox^ and that the 
Question of disputc was onlv about words. To the asserters of Three 

One or * •' ^ 

H^^ostases Hypostases, he said, "Do you mean by these words, as the 
Arians do. Three substances differing from each other, or, 
as other heretics. Three Principles, or Three Gods ? '' " God 
forbid,^^ they replied : " we only mean that the Father is and 
exists; that the Son is and exists in the Substance of the 
Father; and that the Holy Ghost is and exists : we abhor the 
heresy that teaches the existence of Three Principles : we hold 
the Son to be Consubstantial with the Father, and the Holt 
Ghost inseparable from the Substance of Both.^' "This,^^ said 
the Council to their opponents, '^is the very Catholic Faith. 
But you, who hold One Hypostasis only in the Holy Trinity, 
do you mean, with Sabellius, to annihilate the Substance of the 
Son and the Holy Ghost ? '^ ^' God forbid,^' they answered : 
" we merely use the word in the sense of substance, that we may 
assert the Holy Trinity to be Consubstantial.^^ Then said 
the Council to both parties, '^ You are all agreed, then, in ana- 
thematizing Arius and Sabellius, Paul of Samosata and Manes, 
and to subscribing the Creed of Nicsea.'^ Thus unity was res- 
tored among the orthodox. In a similar way, those who, both 
holding the Faith, were dissatisfied with each others' expressions 
on the subject of the Incarnation, were made to allow their real 
accordance. In this Council Asterius, an Arabian Bishop, was 
spokesman for the Eastern, Eusebius of Verceil for the Western 

S. Athanasius, writing in the name of the Council to the 
Church of Antioch, detailed the proceedings which we have re- 
counted : and sent several other letters on the same subject to 
the more influential among the Bishops. The only unfortunate 
result of this most Catholic Synod, was the schism of Lucifer 
of Cagliari, who would not communicate with those who 
received to their communion the subscribers of the formula of 
Rimini. Thus the Luciferians were with respect to the Demi- 
Ariaus what the Novatians were to the Pagans ; though in no 


other respect can the two sects be compared. For Lucifer had 
been a Confessor for the truth, and, but for his unhappy divi- 
sion, would doubtless have been reckoned among the Saints by 
the Church at large, as by a peculiar devotion of that of Sar* 
dinia he is to this day.^ Of the proceedings of the ApoUinarians 
in this Council we shall have a further occasion to speak. 




The Pagans, emboldened by the favour of Julian, addressed a 
memorial to him, in the same year, against S. Athanasius, whom 
they represented as the great enemy of their religion, and the 
preventer of the due exercise of their rites. For they had recently 
re-introduced the murder of infants, for the purpose of drawing 
auguries from an inspection of their entrails. Julian replied, 
that although out of his moderation he had allowed all the 
Galileans, banished by Constantius, to return, yet he would not 
suffer the insolence they complained of in the case of Athana- 
sius, whom he commanded on the receipt of that epistle to leave AthanasiuR 
the city.2 The Christians also presented, though in vain, a jSSan.*** ^^ 
memorial : Julian taunted them with being the slaves of those 
Hebrews who had been bondmen to their fathers, and with pre- 
ferring a man accused of the most heinous crimes, to the 
memory of Alexander their founder, and Serapis their guardian 
god ; and Athanasius, who had at first been required only to 
leave Alexandria, was now commanded to withdraw from Egypt. 
Troops were sent to drive the Bishop into exile, with orders, 
if they were able, to slay him : the Csesarea, or great church, was 
sacked and burnt. S. Athanasius consoled his weeping friends 
by assuring them that it was a cloud that would soon pass. He 
embarked in a boat, and sailed up the Nile towards the Thebais. 

^ And the BoUandists so reckon him : on the subject $ a schism which, they 

endeavouring to prove that, though he say, owed its origin to his disciples, 

disapprovedof the decree of Alexandria, ^ Socrat. H. £. ii. 13,14. Sozomen, 

he never went so far as to raise a schism H. £. v. 1 5. Theodoret, U. E. iii. 9. 




He was soon missed^ and pursued ; but a friend had time to 
give him warning of the design against his Ufe. With great 
presence of mind^ he ordered the boat to be put about^ and 
descended the river towards Alexandria : in a short time he was 
met by the murderers^ who demanded if Athanasius was £eu* 
before him. "He is very near/^ replied the Mends of the 
Prelate^ according to others S. Athanasius himself; and the 
boat of the officer was urged on with greater speed. 

A.D. 363. Julian was now on his expedition against the Persians. Didy- 
mus^ celebrated in the Church of Alexandria for his piety^ and^ 
although blind^ for his learnings was in deep distress at the 
tidings of persecutions in different places^ and at the general 
exultation of the Pagans. He had passed a whole day^ towards 

Vision of *^® ^^^ ^^ June, in fasting and prayer : and as he slumbered in his 

Didymus. chair, at one o^clock in the morning, heard a voice say distinctly, 
" Julian is dead ; rise, and eat, and send tidings to Athanasius/^ 
Didymus carefully noted the day and hour ; and found that at 

Death of that Very hour the Apostate had indeed gone to his account : as 
though wounded in the morning, he survived till after midnight. 
S. Athanasius, it is said, received a yet earlier intimation of the 
Emperor's fall. While at Antinoe, he received a visit from 
Pammon, an Abbat in the adjacent country, and S. Theodore of 
Tabenna. By their advice he betook himself to the cells 
governed by the last-named hermit ; and while one day lament- 
ing the state of the Church to his two friends, was amazed to 
see them look at each other, and interchange a smile. " Are 
you mocking the weakness of my faith ? " demanded the Prelate. 
On which they informed him that the tyrant had been summoned 
to his account.^ 

Arianism now began to totter. The succeeding emperor 
Jovian professed himself a Catholic, and recalled the Bishops 
banished by Julian. Athanasius had not waited for this sum- 
mons, but had previously returned to Alexandria. He was here 
agreeably surprised by receiving a letter from the Emperor, re- 
questing from him a True Exposition of the Catholic Faith. He 
assembled a Council, and inserted in his reply the Creed of 
Nicsea, and a brief but clear explanation of it. Jovian requested 

1 Bolland. Mar. 14, p. 71. 


Athanasius to visit him at Antioch, where, shortly afterwards, a 
small Council was held, by those in the Communion of S. Mele- 
tius, where several Demi-Arian Bishops approved of the term 
Consubstantial. The proceedings of this Council having been 
laid before Athanasius, he wished to enter into Communion with 
Meletius : but the aflftur was procrastinated by the Meletians till 
it fell to the groimd.^ 

Lucius, the Arian Bishop of Alexandria, and his friends, made 
a journey to Antioch, wishing to influence the Emperor in their 
favour : but they only succeeded in incurring his indignation : 
and to make the prospects of their sect yet darker, a schism 
broke out among the pure Arians. 

Athanasius, on his return into Egypt, spent some time in 
visiting its principal monasteries, more especially that of S. 
Pacomius. We may refer to this period his letter to Rufinia- 
nus, who had consulted him on the proper method of dealing 
with penitent heretics. The Prelate points out that various 
Synods had already defined the matter ; that the originators of 
heresy, if ecclesiastics, were, on repentance, to be received to 
ky Communion only ; those who had joined the heresy through 
ignorance or infirmity, were to be retained in the enjoyment 
of their full rank. In this decision, he says, the whole 
Catholic Church was agreed : the Luciferians only objected and 
rebelled. While thus engaged> he heard of the death of Jovian, 
and the appointment of Valentinian as Emperor, who at once gave 
the East to his brother Valens. The happy reconcihation, in a 
great measure, of the Eastern with the Western Church followed : 
and was succeeded by the Arian persecution of Valens. 

At its outset, an Edict was passed, banishing those Bishops ad. S67. 
who, having been exiled under Constantius, had returned imder "f vaiens. 
Julian. In virtue of this proclamation,^ the prefect of Egypt 
endeavoured to deprive the Alexandrian Catholics of their 
churches, and to drive Athanasius from the city. The orthodox 
replied, that Athanasius did not come under the terms of the 
edict : that he had indeed been banished by Constantius, but had 
also been restored by the same Emperor ; and were on the point of 
taking up arms in defence of their Bishop. The Prefect wrote 

1 S. Basil. Ep. 37i. 249. ^ Socrat. H. E. iv. 13. Sozomen, H. E. vi. 12, 


to Valens for instructions, and the sedition was appeased. A few 
days after, S. Athanasius, divinely warned of impending danger, 
left his house and the city towards evening, and hid himself in 
the tomb of his father. Towards midnight the prefect surrounded 
the house with troops, hoping to seize Athanasius, and convey 
him quietly from the city. This was the last trouble which 
befell the Confessor : an order came from Valens to recall him ; 
and after a few months^ absence, he again entered Alexandria. 

Various conjectures have been made as to the reasons which in- 
duced Valens, while persecuting the other CathoUc Bishops and 
their flocks, to spare Athanasius and Alexandria. It is probable 
that he did so either from fear of Valentinian, who might have 
taken it ill that so great a champion of the truth should suffer 
any thing ; or by the persuasion of the Arians, unwilling to bring 
the powerful genius of Athanasius in <;ontact with the mind of 
Valens, and fearing that persecution might induce him to try 
the force of a personal appeal to the Emperor. 

A.D 370. S. Athanasius had now governed Alexandria more than forty 

years, and the end of his life was peaceful. At the head of a 
Council of ninety Bishops, he remonstrated with S. Damasus of 
Rome, that Auxentius, the Arian Bishop of Milan, had not been 
excommunicated, and his representation had the desired effect.^ 
The synodal letter addressed by this Synod to the Bishops of 
Africa exists among the writings of 8. Athanasius. 

About this period we meet with an instance of his willingness 
to drop the rights of his See where the good of the Church 
was at stake. There was, in PentapoUs, a See called Erythrum, 
which comprehended, among other villages, the petty towns of 
Palsebisca and Hydrax. Orion, Bishop of Erythrum, a man 
advanced in years, was sohcited by the inhabitants of Palsebisca 
and Hydrax, in consideration of their distance from the See, and 

ISaeWsca' ^^® ^^'^ infirmities, to consecrate a young man named Siderius, 
their Bishop. Orion consented, and the ceremony was performed 
by Philo, Bishop of Cyrene, a well meaning man, but inexact in 
his observance of the Laws of the Church, without any reference to 
the See of Alexandria, and by himself: thus violating two Canons. 
S. Athanasius not only confirmed Siderius in his See, but some 

1 Tlieodoret, H. E. ii. 22. 



time after^ approving his character^ translated him to the Church 
of Ftolemais^ which we now find to have become, in a sense, 
Metropolitical. He did credit to the choice of the people : and 
in old age, resigning the more honourable See of Ptolemais, 
retired to end his days in the charge of his former See. We 
also find him excommunicating the governor of Libya for 
cruelty :i defending S. Basil, lately made Bishop of Caesarea; 
at length apparently reconciled to Meletius ;2 and instructing 
Epictetus in the Mystery of the Incarnation, which the widely-* 
spreading Apollinarian heresy rendered a necessary task. 
Three years after the date of this work, S. Athanasius was a.d. 373.* 

1 Synesius, £p. 67. 

2 S. Basfl, £pp. 47, 52. 

* The date of the decease of S. 
Athanasius is, as is well known, a ques- 
tion of great difficulty. Those who 
would place it in a.d. 371, ground 
their decision on the following argu- 
ment. 1. Socrates, whose Consular 
chronology is very exact, places the 
death of the Pfttriarch under the Con- 
suls Gratianus and Probus : that is, in 
the year 371. 2. It is well known 
from the testimony of S. Cyril, Socra- 
tes, and others, that S. Athanasius 
only sat forty-six years. But S. Alex- 
ander's decease cannot be placed later 
than April 18, 326 : and (as we have 
seen) the Roman Martyrology places 
it February 26 of that year. This 
seems to fix that of S. Athanasius 
in 371 or 372. On the other hand, it 
is urged : 1. That S. Proterius of Alex- 
andria, who certainly ought to have 
been acquainted with the principal 
events in the life of his illustrious pre- 
decessor, says expressly, that he was 
alive at Easter, a. m. 89 : that is, 
March 31, a.d. 373. 2. The Chroni- 
con Orientale informs us that S. Atha- 
nasius died on Thursday, May 2, which 
gives the same year. 3. S. Jerome 
fixes the ordination of Peter II. in 
373 ; and we have no intimation that 
the See was long vacant. 4. It is almost 

certain that S. Basil was not consecrated 
Bishop till the spring of a.d. 370. But 
it is impossible that in the short space 
of eleven months so many letters could 
have passed between him and S. Atha- 
nasius, as they certainly wrote to each 
other. With respect to the first argu- 
ment on each side, we must confess 
that it is almost equally hard to believe 
Socrates or S. Proterius inaccurate: 
for to assert that the latter simply 
meant that S. Athanasius regulated the 
difficult Easter of a.d. 373, is absurd. 
Therefore we must be guided solely by 
the weight of the other arguments. 
But the second reason for 371 is of 
very little force : because it assumes 
that the death of S. Alexander, and 
consecration of S. Athanasius, were 
synchronous. Now S. Athanasius was 
absent at the death of his predecessor ; 
and, as we have seen, the Meletian 
Theonas was intruded into the See, 
which he occupied three months. This, 
according to our reckoning, would 
make the ordination of S. Athanasius 
to have taken place at the latter end of 
May, 326 ; and thus, if he died May 2, 
370, he would not have sat forty-seven 
years complete : or, in common par- 
lance, he had sat forty-six years. If it 
be objected that Rufinus says, Obiit 
quadrageaimo et sexto anno Sacerdotii 
suit we reply that the authority of that 



Death of s. attacked by a mortal illness. Being pressed to name his suc- 

Athanasias. •• •• i i • i« 'jA^i* it j • t* a 

cessor^ he mentioned his taithtul and aged compamon reter : 
and shortly afterwards^ after so many perils and banishments^ 
gave up the ghost in his bed^ in his own house^ justly claiming 
the most illustrious place among the Confessors^ and known in 
his Church by the title of the Apostolic Patriarch. "And thus/' 
as S. Gregory Nazianzen closes his panegyric, " he ended his 
life in peace, and he was gathered to his fathers in a good old 
age, to the Patriarchs and Prophets, Apostles and Martyrs, who 
strove for the truth. And on his departure he received more 
excellent honours than those which attended his entrances to 
the city : for he so left this world, as to move the tears 'of many, 
and to leave a glorious remembrance of himself, of more value 
than visible tokens of respect, in the hearts of all.'^ 



Peter II. 
Pat. XXI. 
A.D. 373. 
A.M. 89. 

The death of S. Athanasius was a signal for fresh efforts on the 
part of the Arians. Peter was however peaceably enthroned by 
the unanimous voices of the clergy and people, the neighbour- 
ing Prelates having assembled with the utmost speed to prevent 
any attack of the opposite faction. 

Euzoius of Antioch resolved to go himself to Alexandria, and 
to put Lucius into quiet possession of the See. This project 
was approved by Valens, who in the mean time wrote to Pafla- 
dius, the prefect of Egypt, to drive out Peter by main force. 
This commission was very pleasing to Palladius, who was a 
Pagan : and assembling a band of heathens and of Jews, he sur- 

writer is too much weakened by his 
notorious inaccuracies to render it of 
very great moment. The arguments 
which we have stated in behalf of 373, 
(and we might have adduced more,) 
appear incapable of a satisfactory an- 
swer : and therefore with the Benedic- 

tine Editors, with Tillemont, (though 
he speaks less decidedly,) and with 
Pagi, we have fixed the latter year: 
in spite of the objections of Hermant, 
Petavius, Papebrochius, and Baronius, 
(which last writer puts the decease of 
S. Athanasius in 372.) 


rounded the churcli of S. Theonas ; and informed Peter^ that if 
he did not voluntarily retire, he would be dragged forth by 

The Prelate was thrown into prison,^ and on his hberation Heisthrown 
thought it prudent to retire : and the same scenes were re-acted, and retires' 
which in the time of S. Athanasius had been witnessed in the 
same church. A youth, infamous for his debauched life, mounted 
the altar, and there exhibited a popular dance; another ascended 
the pulpit, and thence deUvered an harangue in praise of vice.^ 
Many of the CathoUcs suffered on this occasion, and are reckoned 
as Martyrs. 

Shortly after, Euzoius and Lucius, in company with the Entry of 
Count Magnus, arrived in Alexandria. The blasphemous con- 
gratulations with which they were received by the Pagans must 
have been revolting even to themselves. " Welcome," they 
cried, '^ to the Bishop who does not acknowledge the Son : 
welcome to the Bishop, the beloved of Serapis ! " Nineteen 
CathoUc Priests and Deacons, some of them in extreme old age, 
were dragged before the tribunal of Magnus the Qusestor, a man 
of bad character, who had narrowly escaped capital punishment 
under Jovian, for having destroyed the church of Berytus in the 
time of Julian the Apostate. He pressed them to communicate 
with the Arians, urging that even if they were in the right, 
God would surely pardon them for yielding to compulsion. 
They appealed to the Creed of Nicsea, and protested that they 
could not vary from that. Having been thrown into prison for 
several days, they were scourged in pubUc, and banished to 
Hehopohs in Phoenicia. Those who by tears or gestures 
expressed their sympathy with the sufferers were also imprisoned 
or sent to the mines by Palladius the Prefect. Among the 
latter was the Deacon whom S. Damasus of Bome had commis- 
sioned to carry to Peter his congratulations and condolences on 
his accession to the Chair of S. Mark. Epiphanius even assures 

^ So Sozomen : whom Baronins allude to k. It is stranger that Peter 

seems inclined (372, Izix.) to doubt, himself says nothing of bis imprison- 

because Ruiinus says nothing of the ment. 

imprisonment of Peter. But Makrizi ^ Theodoret, H. E. iy. ]8, 19. So- 

(§166) mentions it; though Severus zomen, H. E. vi. 19. Socrat. H. E. 

(Renaudot, p. 99) does not appear to iv. 21. 


U8^ that some of the most strenuous advocates of the Truth 
were condemned to the beasts.^ With the details of this 
persecution we are acquainted from an encychc epistle of Peter 
himself, preserved by Theodoret. 

Though Arianism thus again prevailed in Egypt^ it was in a 
far different manner from its former supremaey. Now the Church 
knew herself better : the Formula of Nicaea was acknowledged 
by all to be the expression of her belief; and the True Faith 
was known to be so by those who yielded to fear or constraint. 
The number of the Arians was also much diminished: the 
contest had more definitely assumed its true form^ and was felt 
to be a struggle^ not about words^ but for the greatest Truth 
for which man can contend. 

Euzoius^ having accomplished his errand^ returned to Antioch. 
Probably by his persuasion^ Yalens shortly afterwards issued an 
edicts commanding the banishment from Egypt of all who 
confessed the Gonsubstantial.^ Eleven Bishops were sent into 
exile. The behaviour of S. Melas of Rhinocorura^ deserves to 
be mentioned. The soldiers sent to convey him to his place of 
m2m?' ^* ®^® reached his church towards evening, and found him engaged 
in preparing the lamps. Not imagining that a Prelate could 
be employed in «o menial an office, they inquired for Melas. 
The Bishop informed them that he was within, and should be 
told of their arrival. Taking them into his house, he set supper 
before them, and himself waited at table : . when they had finished 
he made himself knotm. They were so much touched by his 
humility and kindness, that they ofiSsred to let him escape ; but 
S. Melas preferred sharing the exile of his brethren. He must 
have been at this time young; since Sozomen, writing nearly 
eighty years after, mentions his brother Solon, who succeeded 
him in the Episcopate and seems to have resembled him in 
virtue, as not long dead. 

The Monks of Egypt were one of the great objects of the 

1 Hsr. 68. sometimes to the other. We learn 

^ Socrat. H. E. iv. II. Sozomen, from Sozomen that the Bishop and 

H. E. vi. 19. Clerks of this church lived together m 

3 Rhinocorura formed the boundary canons regular, having a common 

of Egypt and Phoenicia, and is aecord- house and a common table. — Le Quien, 

ingly sometimes reckoned to tiie one, ii. 541, 2. Sozomen, H. E. vi. 31. 


hatred of Lucius. He spared no pains in discovering their Persecution 
abodes ; and even himself led a large party of soldiers to drive Monks: 
them into exile. It is said that the inmates of a particular 
monastery which he was about to visit, were requested, as they 
often were, to pray over a paralytic man brought to them for 
that purpose. They anointed him with oil, and on saying the 
words, ^' In the Name of Jesus Christ Whom Lucius perse- 
cuteth, arise, and go to thy house I '^ they restored him whole 
to his friends. Neither their prayers, however, nor their miza- 
cles protected them from the insults and from the fury of the 
Arians; till Lucius, perceiving that the number of the Monks 
prevented the exercise of any very severe measure against the 
whole of their body, contented himself with banishing their 

Among the most illustrious of the exiles had been the two eziie of the 
Macarii and Isidore. They were banished to an island in the uidore! ^°^ 
Nile, the stronghold of Paganism, where the Gospel had not as 
yet been preached, and where the priest was honoured for the 
supposed sanctity of his life and prevalence of his prayers. At 
the moment that the bark which was earring the Holy Confessors 
touched the shore, the daughter of this man was seized by a 
demon. Bushing down to the coast, — ^^ We had trusted,^^ she 
cried, ^^ to be safe from you in this unknown spot : it is our 
ancient habitation ; here we abode in peace ; here we hurt none. 
But if you claim this island also, take it : we cannot resist your 
power.'^ As the spirits thus spoke, they threw the maiden to 
the ground, convulsed her, and left her. The result of this 
miracle was the conversion of the whole island. The populace 
of Alexandria, on receiving inteUigence of the event, were 
scarcely to be restrained from an open outbreak : and Lucius 
thought it prudent to give private orders for the release of the 
Macarii and Isidore. ^ 

Peter, shortly after his release from prison, retired to Rome, Pcterat 
where he was honourably received by S. Damasus, the successor ^°*®' 
of Liberius.2 While there, he assisted at a Council held by S. 
Bamasus against ApoUinaris,^ whose heresy, as we have already 

* Theodoret, H. E. iv. 21. Hieron. Ant. Merendie Vit. S. Damasi, 

p. 43. 

* S. Greg. Nazianz. Orat. in laudem ' Epp. S. Damas. 2, 3 ; Vit p. 55. 


observed^ ^ may be said to have arisen at Alexandria. He had 

been for some time accused of teaching that the Sayiour was 

ApoUiDarian Only in His Body a man^ and that His Divinity supplied the 

place of a human soul ; but his great reputation had rendered 


the Eastern Bishops unwilling to condemn him^ though not 
hesitating to anathematize his doctrines. At length his errors 
became too flagrant to be any longer concealed or connived at : 
and the See of Alexandria had again the honour^ in conjimction 

AD. 376. with that of Bome^ to be the foremost in condemning heresy. 

The presence of Peter at Bome was important on another 

account. The schism at Antioch^ between the Eustathians^ or 

old Catholic party, under their Bishop Paulinus^ ordained by 

Lucifer before his return to the West, and the new Catholic 

Antio!^? party under S. Meletius, had troubled both the East and West. 
The holiest Bishops in the East, such as S. Basil and S. Eusebius 
of Samosata, sided with Meletius. S. Damasus and the Western 
Bishops communicated with Faulinus. Meletius asserted Three 
Hypostases in the Holy Trinity, Faulinus One : S. Damasus 
would not allow the former, for fear of being considered an 
Arian, nor S. Basil the latter, lest he should be imagined a 
Sabellian.2 Notwithstanding the decision of the Chair of S. 
Peter, Meletius after his death was reckoned even by the Western 
Church among the Saints, — an honour not accorded to Paulinus. 
Peter served as a kind of connection between the two conflicting 
parties, though his sentiments inclined to those of Damasus. 
S. Basil addressed a letter to him while at Rome, on the subject^ 
in which he complains in very strong language, that the Western 
Bishops, who could not be so well acquainted with the actual 
state of affairs, should presume to class Meletius and Eusebius 
among the Arians. 

S. Basil also addressed an Epistle to the Faithful of Alexan- 
dria, in the absence of their Bishop, calling on them to contend 
earnestly for the Faith once for all committed to the Church, 
to call to mind their own illustrious Saints, to emulate them in 
their conflict, that they might be accounted worthy to share with 
them their glory, and to play the man for the Lord of Hosts. 

» p. 38. Ber. ap. S. Cyril, Ep. 13. S. BasU, 

2 Vit. S. Damas. pp. 60, 89. Acac. Ep. 214. S. Hieron. Ep. 15, i. 38. 



A remarkable event which happened about this time must 
have convinced the Arians that they were not recognized by any 
party as the legitimate occupants of the Throne of Alexandria. 
Mauvia^ Queen of the Saracens^ who bordered on Palmyrene 
and Phoenicia Libanensis^ had been engaged in a series of wars 
with the Roman Power^ and had generally been successfcd. 
Terms of peace were offered^ and accepted by the Queen^ 
on condition that Moyses^ a monk of reputation in her domini- 
ons^ should be ordained Bishop of the Saracens. The proposal 
was considered reasonable ; and Moyses was directed to receive 
consecration from Lucius. When brought before that Arian 
Prelate, ^'l am imworthy/^ said the Monk, "to receive the 
grace of the Episcopate at all : but if necessity be laid upon me, conaecn. 
I refuse to accept it from a blasphemer of our Lord, and an MoyBes. 
intruder into a See ialready filled.^^ However much Lucius 
might resent this public affront, for the protest was made in the 
presence of the civil authorities of Alexandria, the necessity of 
the case compelled him to acquiesce ; and Moyses was ordained 
by the Metropolitan of Damascus.^ 

During the persecution of Lucius, the Monks of Egypt s. Meiania 
received the most essential services from the celebrated Meiania, 
who was at that time on her way to Palestine, and remained 
eight months in the country .^ Her zeal led her to provide 
retreats for a vast multitude of recluses; and during three 
days, she supported, at her own expense, five thousand monks. 
She was summoned before the Praefect, and threatened with the 
severest punishment, unless she consented to acquaint the 
magistrates with the names and hiding-places of those whom 
she maintained; but her popularity and high birth exempted 
her, though desirous of suffering for Christ, from further 
molestation. ^ 

Valens, now at Antioch, found it necessary to defend Thrace 
from the incursions of the barbarians ; and accordingly set out 
for Constantinople. But before leaving the city,* he gave orders 

^ Rufin.ii. 6. Socrat H. E. iv. 29. ^ S. Paulin. Ep. 10 ; Baronius, 

Sozomen, H. £. yi. 38. Le Quien ii. 372, xcii., who proyes that these events 
85 1 , 852. occurred m Egypt, and not in Palestine. 

'* Socrat. H. E. iv. 38. S. Hieron. 

^ Pallad. Lausiac. cap. zxxiii. Chron. Baronius, 377, ii. 


Death of that the persecution against the Catholics should cease^ and that 
the pereecu- the cxiles should be restored. As soon as the intelligence 

tioD ceases 

reached fiome^ Peter^ provided with letters of Communion from 
Damasus^ returned to his Churchy where he was received with 
great joy. On this^ Lucius retired first to Constantinople^ then 
to Beroea. Valens^ by the just judgment of Gon^ perished in 
his expedition. The few remaining months of the life of S. 
Peter were darkly clouded by an unfortunate action on his part, 
which threatened to lead to serious results. 

The Church of Constantinople was now in a most lamentable 
condition, having been in the hands of the Arians for more 
than forty years. Demophilus, their present Bishop, was alto- 
gether intolerable to the Catholics, and Theodosius, on being 
elevated to the purple in the East, was anxious to provide a 
Prelate who might be able to raise that important Church from 
s. Gregory her ruius. S. Gregory of Nazianzum, a Bishop without a See, 

NazianzeD * 

appeared to the orthodox party the most eligible for the post ; 
and he accordingly, not without great reluctance, came to Con- 
stantinople. His difficulties were at first great: the Arians 
possessed all the churches, and he was compelled to hold his 
assembUes in the house where his Mends entertained him. 
This house afterwards became the celebrated chiu'ch of the 
Resurrection : so called from the Resurrection of the Faith in 
Constantinople, which had its origin there. Peter favoured the 
election of S. Gregory, and, in virtue of the jurisdiction which 
Alexandria claimed, and still claims, over Constantinople in a 
vacancy of the latter See, instituted him therein.^ But from 
whatever cause, he soon after repented of this action. There 
SoS oi?*" was one Maximus, a native of Alexandria, who although a 
Christian, professed himself a Cynic, and wore the ordinary 
dress of that sect of philosophers. This man, whose character 
had been notoriously bad, obtained from Peter a promise to 
ordain him Bishop of Constantinople. We are not informed by 
what artifices he procured this engagement ; but having secured 
it, he sailed for Constantinople, where, partly by praising the 
eloquence of Gregory, and partly by exhibiting, as if received 
in Confession, the marks of stripes by which he had been 
punished for a misdemeanour, he insinuated himself into 

^ S. Greg. Nazianz. Carm. de Yitk, 




the confidence of the Bishop^ and made some progress in popu- 
lar esteem in the city. Having so far succeeded^ he informed 
Peter of his proceedings^ and requested him to send some 
Prelates for the purpose of consecrating him. 

The character of Peter at this time stood high; and he used 
all his authority for the promotion of the design of Maximus. 
He dispatched three Bishops to Constantinople^ with full powers 
to consecrate him. The pretext, however, under which these 
Prelates were sent, was the conveyance of the customary 
tribute of com to Constantinople. On arriving in the Imperial 
City, they, in a most irregular and hurried manner, ordained 
Maximus.^ The people were indignant : the expressions of their 
affection towards S. Gregory were numerous ; and the intruder 
was compelled ignominiously to leave the city. The Emperor 
and the Pope declared against him; the latter, indeed, who 
did not approve of the Translation of Gregory, considered the 
See as vacant. Maximus, meanwhile, after a fruitless interview ^.d. 379. 
with Theodosius at Thessalonica, returned to Alexandria, and 
iirged Peter to assist him in re-establishing himself at Constan- 
tinople. To entreaties he added threats, declaring that if the 
Bishop of Alexandria would not give him the help he demanded, 
he should himself be deposed. But the Praefect of Egjrpt 
banished Maximus ; and Gregory was for a short time quietly 
restored to his dignity.^ 

Peter's life was now drawing to an end. On the fourteenth Death of 
of February, a. d. 380, he was taken from the world. His 
memory is venerated by the Coptic Church, which reckons him 
among the Saints. But the Church CathoUc has refused him 
the title : partly on accoimt of his inconstancy in the matter of 
Maximus ; partly, as it would seem from S. Jerome, from the too 
great facility with which, after his return to Alexandria, he ad- 
mitted heretics to his Communion ; — ^thence laying himself 
open to the charge, though perfectly unfounded, of having 
received bribes for the purpose of shortening the period of their 
probation. ^ 

1 Pagi, 379, viiL The Chronology have returned to Alexandria till after 

however is not without difficulties, the death of Peter, 

inasmuch as evidence has been adduced « S. Greg. Nazianz. Carm. de Vit&. 

to place the election of Maximus in 3 Sollerius, p. 50*, § 259. 
A.D. 380 ; in which case he could not 


Fourteen days after the death of Peter^ a law was pubUshed 
by Theodosius^ then at Thessaloniea^ for the purpose of defining 
the CathoUc Faith ; in which Communion with S. Damasus of 
Rome, and Peter of Alexandria, is required in its professors. The 
tidings of the death of latter had not as yet reached Thessalonica. 



Timothy, On the dcccasc of Peter, Timothy, his brother,^ who appears 
A.D.'ssoj " to have been designated by the dying Prelate as his successor, 
was, by the election of the Bishops and Clergy, placed in the 
vacant See. 
A.D. 381. In the year following this election, Theodosius, eager to put 
an end to the various disputes by which the Church was dis- 
tracted, determined on convoking a numerous Synod for their 
Second Consideration and settlement ; and the Second General Council 
councu. met at Constantinople. Though consisting only of Eastern 
Bishops, from the subsequent reception of its decrees by the 
whole Church it is justly regarded as (Ecumenical. 

The first proceeding of the assembled Fathers was to declare 
the consecration of Maximus null and void. This was done the 
more easily, because, from whatever reason, no Egyptian Bishop 
was then present at the Council. S. Meletius of Antioch, as 
Prelate of the See third in dignity, presided. Gregory was 
then solemnly installed in the Episcopal Throne, in spite of the 
most vigorous opposition on his own part. S. Meletius shortly 
after went to his reward; and it was now hoped that the 
Antiochene schism might cease. For it had been agreed by both 
parties, that of the two Prelates, Paulinus and Meletius, which- 
ever should survive the other should be accounted by all as the 
Canonical Bishop. S. Gregory, now presiding in the Council, 
was urgent that this compact should be observed; but the 
younger Bishops could not endure the idea of thus yielding to 

* Sozomen, H. E. vii, 5. ^ Socrat. H.E. iv. 37. Eutychius, p. 491. 


the Western Church, which had always continued in the Com- 
munion of Paulinus : and the schism was continued by the 
election of Flavian. 

It was probably during this interval,^ when neither Alexandria Alexandria 
nor Antioch were properly represented in the Council, that its Third sec: 
celebrated Canon was passed, whereby Constantinople was 
declared the second See. But Timothy constantly refused to 
allow the validity of this Canon ; the Church of Rome did the 
same; and, for centuries after, Alexandria still held the second 
dignity everywhere but at Constantinople. 

Timothy having arrived at the latter city, immediately attacked 
the validity of Gregory's translation; rather out of jealousy of 
the Eastern Church (Alexandria, as we have seen, always allying 
itself with Rome), than from any dislike to that Bishop. His 
opponents could not be more wiUing to insist on, than that 
aged Prelate was to tender his resignation : and the appoint- 
ment of Nectarius to the See was the final result. On the Timothy at 


cession of S. Gregory, Timothy presided in the Council; tilloop^*' 
disgust at the influence of the Eastern Prelates and at the 
Canon by which his own See was degraded, caused him to sail 
for Alexandria; and he refused again to leave his city, though in- 
vited to be present at the subsequent consecration of Nectarius. 

It need hardly be said that the chief thing done in the 
Council of Constantinople, besides what has been specified, 
was the expansion of the Creed of Nicsea into that form which 
we, in common with the whole CathoUc Church, employ in our 
Communion Office : the single point of difierence being, that 
the Procession of the Holy Ghost was only affirmed to bq 
from the Father. In the law which gave force to the decrees he returns to 
of the Council, Timothy was named with Nectarius and other 
principal Bishops, as those with whom all, professing to be 
CathoUcs, were required to be in Communion. 

Timothy, after returning to his flock, was imder the happy 
reign of Theodosius spared the persecutions to which his prede- 

* The time at which the several given in the text seems on the whole 

Canons of Constantinople were made the more probable. Of the subsequent 

is involved in much obscurity ; and reception of these Canons by Alex- 

some will have it that the second and andria itself, we have spoken in the 

fourth Canons were enacted after the Introduction, 
departure of Timothy. The account 



and dies, 
July 20, 
A.D. 385. 

cessors had been subjected. He was an old man when raised to 
the See^ and departed this life in peace^ after having held it 
more than five years. Though not reckoned among the Saints 
by any except the Coptic Church,^ his character stood high for 
piety and learning. The rescript of Theodosius to Optatus* 
speaks of him in the highest terms ; and his contempt of riches 
appears to have been so great^ as to obtain for him the surname 
of the Poor .3 His most celebrated work was a Canonical Epistle 
on Penance^ still extant; and he had composed the lives of 
S. ApoUos and other Egyptian recluses*^ He is said to have 
built several churches in Alexandria: and to have be^i eminently 
successful in the conversion of Arians.^ 



The episcopate of the two succeeding Patriarchs was the period 

Patr. xxiif. at which the Church of Alexandria attained her highest dignity. 

A.M. 101. The power of its Prelate was in some respects, as we have 

already observed, greater than that of the Bishop of Rome over 

his own Prelates ;. and the civil authority attached to the office 

was, as we shall have occasion to notice, exceedingly great. 

Theophilus had been secretary to Athanasiua^ and was, so far 

> On the 20th of July. Timothy, 
tiie citizeii of BenhClr, in whdse honour 
a church «m bnlU, the dedicatioii of 
which is a Festival in the Coptic Calen- 
dar, does not appear to have been the 
same with this Patriarch, as SoIIerius 
(pc 51,* § 265) thinks: but rather tiiat 
Timothy who is celebrated by the 
Copts, together with his wife Mora, on 
the 23rd of November. 

^ Vir Ciuin omnium sacerdotnm sus- 
ceptatione venerandus, tum etiam nos- 
tro judicio approbatus. Ttie rescript is 
quoted by Baronius, 385, xzxi. 

■ Apophthegm. Patr. — Tifio04ov rov 

/tivov kKT'fffjLowos, Le QiBen, ii. 

* S^026men, H. E. vi. 29. 

^ Eutychius, p.491. Makrizi, § 173. 
These writers add that, in the Patri- 
archate of Timothy, the use of flesh on 
Easter Day was made compulsory (that 
is, even to the severest recluses), as a 
protest against the Manichaians. Tias 
Renaudot denies (p. 102). 


as the management of business and the maintenance of his 
Church's dignity was concerned^ a fit possessor of the Evangeli- 
cal Throne. In other quahties yet more important for a Prelate^ 
the contrast between himself and his predecessors is sorely to 
his disadvantage. 

His first memorable action proves him, however, not to have a.d. ssg. 
been wanting in zeal. There was at Alexandria^ an ancient 
temple of Bacchus, once of great celebrity, but now so complete 
a ruin that only the walls remained. Theophilus obtained a xheophiias 
grant of it from the Emperor Theodosius, purposing to build a srant of the 

11 1 XI. 1 f /. 1 ? 1 . Temple of 

church on the spot. In clearing the ground for the foundations, sacchas . 
various crypts were discovered, and in them figures connected 
with the abominations of the Phallic rites. The Pagans could 
not endure the discovery of their shame. They flew to arms : **»« Pagans 
the Christians defended themselves, and, although the stronger ^"°'* 
party, would not attack their opponents. The latter, after 
having killed some of those who were most foremost in exposing 
their secret crimes^ retired into the Temple of Serapis. This 
building served excellently as a fortress. It was raised on a 
terrace of enormous height ; its form was square, with a central 
court; there were subterranean passages and communications 
known only to the Priests j the walls were massy, and composed 
externally of excellent masonry, while covered internally with 
copper plates, under which popular belief held a layer of silver 
to be concealed, while under that again was one of gold. The 
greater part of the edifice was taken up by lodgings and apart- 
ments of various kinds for the Priests and official attendants : 
the shrine itself was lighted with only one window, so contrived 
that at mid-day, once a year, a ray of the sun fell on the face of 
Serapis, an enormous figure, the extended hands of which 
reached from one side of the temple to the other : and precisely 
at that time the sun-god was brought on a visit of congratula- 
tion to his brother idol. The Pasans having fortified them- fortifythem- 

^ ^ selves in the 

selves in this building elected Olympius, a philosopher, as their |«™pjJ °^ 
leader : they were even bold enough to attempt a sally, in which 
some Christians were taken prisoners : these were instantly 
dragged to the altars, and either compelled to sacrifice, or 
exposed to the most cruel tortures. 

^ Sozomen, H.E. yii. 15. Socrat. H.E. ▼. 16. 

P 2 


are sum. Evagrius, the Prsefect of Egypt, collected a few soldiers, and 

surrender, hastened to the temple, representing to the rebels the madness 
of hoping to resist the whole Roman power, and the punishment 
which a prolonged resistance would necessarily entail. Driven 
to despair, and encouraged by the harangues of Olympius, who 
exhorted them to suffer any extremity rather than abandon the 

refuse, gods of their ancestors, the besieged refused to listen to any 
terms of accommodation. As the situation of the place rendered 
it inaccessible, except with loss of life and by means of a regular 
storm, Evagrius thought it his duty to write to Theodosius for 
instructions how he should proceed in this conjuncture, and, in 
the mean time, the insurgents were left in quiet possession of 
the fortress. Theodosius repUed, that he envied the lot of those 
Christians who had fallen in this affair, as esteeming them 

are par- Martyrs; that their murderers should be freely forgiven (the 
invariable custom of the Church, lest the glory of the Martyr 
should be tarnished by revenge), but that, at the same time, all 
the temples of Alexandria, which had been the causes of this 
outbreak, should be demolished. Theophilus, in conjunction 
with Evagrius, charged himself with the execution of this edict. 
It was read in pubUc : Christians as well as Pagans assembled 
to hear the result of the inquiry. The former, as soon as its 
bearing was manifest, gave a shout of exultation; the latter 
were struck with terror and fled ; the insurgents, and Olympius 
among the rest, quitted the temple of Serapis, and left it an 

andevacuate casy prey to the Catholics. It is said, that in the dead of the 
preceding night, the doors of the shrine being shut, and no 
person within it, the chant of " Alleluia V^ was heard in its 
recesses. It is certain that the victory of the Christians was 
not stained with any blood ; for even Helladius, the Priest of 
Jupiter, who had, or professed to have, slain nine persons in the 
revolt, was permitted to fly to Damascus, where he obtained a 
hvelihood as a teacher of grammar. 

Theophilus and the people repaired to the temple of Serapis 
for the purpose of effecting its destruction. There was however 
an ancient tradition that, when the idol should be destroyed, the 
earth would perish, the heaven fall in, and chaos would return. 
This belief, actually held by some, and influencing others almost 
unconsciously to themselves, held back the crowd from attempt- 


ing its ruin. At length a soldier, possessing more courage than 

the rest, struck the imasre. which was of wood, though studded The image 

. ^ 11 1 V "I ofScrapisis 

with various metals and precious stones, a hlow on the cheek de»troyed: 
with his hatchet. A shout of horror arose from the Pagans, 
of triumph from the Christians. The soldier redoubled his 
blows : he smote the idol on the knee, and it fell ; a third blow 
lopped off the head. The Heathen were in expectation of some 
dreadful event : an extraordinary noise was heard in the body of 
the fallen god ; and a swarm of rats, its ancient tenants, escaped 
at the neck. Now all was derision and mockery : the unfortu- 
nate Serapis was hacked in pieces, and afforded materials for a 
bonfire ; and the images of the same deity, the common orna*- 
ments of the Alexandrian houses, were demolished, their place 
being supplied by a painting of the Cross. 

In levelling the foundations of the temple the Cross was found 
enffraven on several of its stones : and an ancient tradition tradition 

, '11 respecting 

was then remembered, purportmg that, when that figure was the cross. 
triumphant, the worship of Serapis should be at an end. This 
prophecy has been imagined, Uke others, to have been made 
after the event ; but recent discoveries in Yucatan have strangely 
tended to confirm it. The Cross, in that country, was venerated 
long before the arrival of the Spaniards ; and a tradition was 
current to the effect that when it was triumphant, the Mexican 
gods would no longer be worshipped. 

The Pagans had yet one strong hold on popular feeling. The 
celebrated Nile-gauge, kept till the time of Constantine in the Removal of 
temple of Serapis, transferred to the cathedral by Constantine, gauge. 
and brought back again at the command of Julian the Apostate, 
was now a second time removed to the church. The worshippers of 
Serapis prophesied that the Nile would not rise that year : on 
the contrary, it arose higher than had ever been known. A few 
years subsequently there was a deficient inundation : the Pagans 
attributed it to their being forbidden to appease the Nile by 
their usual sacrifices. The Governor, in reply to their remon- 
strances, assured them, that if such rites as theirs were neces- 
sary to the fertilization of Egypt, the goodness of the result did 
not compensate for the wickedness of the means. Shortly after, 
the river rose rapidly : it passed the highest mark, and fears 
were entertained that Alexandria itself would be inundated. 


The Pagans consoled themselves for their disappointment by an 
indecent jest. 
A.D. 390. The destruction of idols^ commenced at Alexandria^ extended 
of idols itself throughout the whole of Egypt : the infamous secrets of 
Egypt. their worship were discovered^ the metal obtained from them 
recast into vessels for the use of the Church ; and one image only 
retained^ that of a ridiculous ape^ lest in after times the heathen 
should deny th^ir worship of such monsters. The wrath of 
Eunapius^ a pagan writer^ is excessive. He accuses Theophilus 
of changing the worship of the great gods into the adoration of 
miserable men who had suffered for their crimes^ referring of 
course^ to the honour shewn to the reUcs of the Martyrs ; and 
asserts that the Bishop^s private interest was at the bottom of 
his exertions against idolaters. 
A.D. 389. The schism of the Church of Antioch still continuing^ the 
Council of Capua entrusted Theophilus with the final settlement 
of the matter; but Flavian^ the same who was ordained by the 
Council of Constantinople^ would not submit to his arbitration. 
It must be confessed that the Western Bishops interfered un- 
warrantably in this matter ^: they attempted to prejudice Theo- 
dosius against Flavian^ by complaining of his tyranny ; but the 
Emperor stood firm to that- excellent Bishop^ the patron of 8. 
John Chrysostom^ and the preserver of Antioch from the 
penalties which it had incurred by sedition. 
A.D. 394. We find Theophilus at a Council holden in Constantinople; 
on occasion of the consecration of the Church known by the 
name of the Apostolicon^ and dedicated in honour of SS. Peter 
and Paul, to decide the dispute between Agapius and Bagadius^ 
for the possession of the See of Bostra, the Metropolis of Arabia. 
In the course of the examinations^ Theophilus^ who presided 
with the Bishops of Constantinople and Antioch^ gave it as his 
opinion^ that although three Bishops could consecrate^ they could 
not depose a Prelate^ and that nothing less than a Provincial 
Council was sufficient for the latter act. This was approved by 
the Fathers then present.^ 

The errors of Origen^ which had slumbered for so long a time^ 
were now to occasion fresh trouble in the Church. A difference 
arose between John Bishop of Jerusalem^ who was suspected of 

^ S, Ambrose, Ep. 56. ^ Theod. Bttlsamon. 390. Baronius vi. 151. 


holding these tenets^ and B. Epiphanius and 8/ Jerome ; and the 
angry feelings excited on both sides^ before the death of Theo- 
do8iu8^ brought forth bitter fruit subsequently to that event. 

Epiphanins was a great admirer of Theophilus^ and was drawn Theopbuus 
on by him to acts of which^ had he hved, he would assuredly constantt- 
have repented. On the death of Nectarius of Constantinople, 
the Emperor Arcadius resolved to supply his place by S. John 
Ghrysostom of Antioch; and to render his consecration the 
more solemn, he convoked a Council on the occasion, llieo- 
philus had designed a Priest of his own,^ named Isidore, to fill 
the chair of the imperial city : and the reason assigned for this 
desire is, if true, not a little discreditable to both. In the war a.d. m. 
between Theodosius and Maximus, Isidore had been entrusted 
by Theophilus with two letters, charged with which he awaited 
the event at Rome. The one was a congratulation to be deli- 
vered to Maximus, in case his forces should prove victorious ; the 
other was to be given to Theodosius, if success should declare in 
his favour. Having formed this design, it was natural that the 
Alexandrian Patriarch should be opposed to the electionof S.Chry- 
sostom ; and personal intercourse did not diminish his unwilling- 
ness to officiate, as his office rendered it necessary for him to do, at 
the consecration of the new Prelate. Eutropius, the then powerful 
prime minister, on hearing of the opposition of Theophilus, took 
a summary method of putting an end to it. Taking him aside, 
he shewed him a large quantity of documents, carefully pre- 
served. " These,'^ he said, ^^ are memorials received at different 
times from several of your Bishops against your proceedings ; 
your choice is free, either to consecrate John of Antioch, or to he con- 
defend yourself against these accusations.^^ Theophilus chose s. John 
the former alternative. This account too clearly shews the close- 
ness of that dangerous embrace with which, at Constantinople, 
the State had already clasped the Church. 

At the same time we must remember that on this matter and 
the subsequent transactions connected with it, we are leffc for 
information almost entirely, so far as historical accounts are con- 
cerned, to writers prejudiced in &vour of S. John Chrysostom. 
It cannot be denied that the latter, in common with S. Meletius, 
and the rest of the Antiochene school, had a tendency to ration- 

^ Socrat. H. £. vi 2. Sozomen, H. E. viii. 2. 


alizing views ; — a tendency from which, as we have observed, 
the national feeling of the Egyptian Church shrank with horror* 
We, in looking back on the whole course of events, are able to 
perceive that this tendency in S. Chrysostom's mind was left in 
check by his piety and the authority of the Church : but Theo- 
philus had no guarantee at that time, that it would not result 
in semi-Arian, or even Arian tenets. Doubtless his desire of 
placing a Priest of his own in the chair of Constantinople, had 
much influence on his conduct : but it were uncharitable not to 
allow that he might not unreasonably be prejudiced against a 
Priest of S. Flavian, who had been elevated to the Throne of 
Antioch in spite of a most solemn compact, and who undoubt- 
edly represented the Arianizing portion of the CathoUc Church 
in that city. 

A.D. 399. In the next year the Sees of Alexandria and Constantinople 
re-established communion between Flavian of Antioch and the 
Church of Rome.* But this harmony between S. Chrysostom 
and Theophilus was not of long contmuance. 

A.D. 400. Rufinus, the friend of S. Jerome, unfortunately at this time 

published a translation of Origen^s work on pnncipleSy hinting 
in his introduction that Jerome had approved it ; that Father 
wrote against Rufinus, and strongly condemned the doctrine of 
Origen. The tenets of the latter were condemned at Rome, 
and generally in the West; Theophilus had already set the 
example. The hasty tempers of S. Epiphanius and S. Jerome 
accused the See of Alexandria of too great tolerance for heretics; 
and a circimistance occurred which quickened the proceedings 
of Theophilus. 

■^j2r^- The errors and doctrines of Origen had for many years ceased 

revivw-^^ to occupy a prominent place in public interest. The Arian 
controversy had concentrated on itself all the polemical theology 
of the Church ; and while that lasted, no other heresy, not even 
the Apollinarian, could excite more than a passing investigation. 
But the writings of Origen had made their way into the Monas- 
teries of Egypt, and there found readers who were not engrossed 
by the all-prevaiUng topic of Arianism, and the mystical tempe- 
rament of whose minds disposed them to adopt the opinions of 
that extraordinary man. Men, who dwelt in the furthest 

^ So2omen, H. £. viii. 4. 


recesses of the desert^ who passed months together without the 
sight of a stranger^ who had wild crags and interminable 
wildernesses for their companions^ who were familiarized 
with the sublimity of a mountain noon-tide^ and the awful 
beauty of a tropical nighty these men^ we say^ must have been 
peculiarly susceptible to the impressions of nature, and pecu-> 
liarly willing to see or to imagine the links which unite visible 
nature with the invisible world. Hence they eagerly received 
the wild theories of Origen on AngeUcal natures, the origin of 
spirits, the essence of stars, and the like mystical visions ; and 
hence, when the word Origenian became a term of reproach, 
Egypt was plunged in endless disputes. For, though undoubt- 
edly the public tendency was to the mysticism of that writer, 
few owned themselves his partisans, and some among the 
Monasteries were declared enemies to his name and doctrines. 
Foremost among these were a set of heretics who at this time 
appeared in Egypt, ^ and interpreted literally those passages of 
Scripture where the different members of the human body are 
attributed to the Deity. They thence acquired the name of 
Anthropomorphites ; they were for the most part ignorant 
monks, and violently opposed to Origen, as from his attachment 
to the mystical significations of Holy Writ, the most diametri- 
cally opposed of all Christian writers to their own dogmas. 
They went farther, and branded the Catholics with the title of 

Theophilus, in his usual Paschal letter, took occasion to combat Theophiius 
this heresy, which he did with great clearness and by solid against the 

1.. 'jiLi-*.-! •! Anthropo- 

proofs. His Epistle was received by the Monks with an outcry morphites. 
of indignation. Those of Scete, reputed the most perfect in 
Egypt, would not allow it to be read; their Abbat Paphnutius 
was the only person in the monastery who received its doctrine 
as sound. Serapion, who possessed great authority among the 
brotherhood, from his age, his austerities, and his exemplary 
life, was in vain told by Paphnutius that the passages he quoted 
were to be taken in a spiritual sense. It happened opportunely 
that Photinus, a Deacon of Cappadocia, well esteemed for his 
learning, visited the monastery: and from him Paphnutius 
learnt that the Eastern Chui'ch explained the t^cts in question 

1 Socrat. H. £. vi. 7. Sozomen, H. E. viii. 11. 


as he himself had done. This concorrence of testimony overcame 
the obstiiiaey of Serapion ; the poor old man burst into tears^ 
exclaiming^ ^^ They have taken away my Gox>^ and I know not 
what to worship I '^ The greater part of the Monks were not so 
easy to be convinced. They came in a crowd to Alexandria^ ex- 
claiming against Theophilos as a heretic and a blasphemer. If^ 
they cried^ he is not implicated in the errors of Origen^ why 
does he not anathematize them? The Bishop^ desirous of 
restoring peace to his Chnrch^ promised to do so; and in a 
Council which he shortly after assembled^ he fulfilled his 
engagement. In his next Paschal letter^ he took occasion to 
dwell at length on the subject ; and in some instances^ appears 
to have dealt unfairly with the expressions of Origen. The 
Paschal letters^ in which Theophilus attacked these errors^ are 
now only known to us through the Latin version of S. Jerome.^ 
A dispute arose about this time at Alexandria^ which was de- 
structive of the peace of the whole Eastern Church. An aged 
priest named Isidore^ who had been ordained by S. Athanasius^ 
TheophUas was master of the Hospital in that city : and as his charity was well 
i^dorl : known^ he was presented with a thousand pieces of gold by a rich 
widow^ engaging himself by oath to expend the money in cloth- 
ing the poorest women of the city. The donor was unwilling to en- 
trust the simi to Theophilus^ because his passion for building was 
notorious : and she feared that he would employ the money in 
increasing the principal Churchy already too large. The Bishop 
heard of the transaction^ and though indignant with Isidore^ 
was unable at the time to punish the affiront he imagined him- 
self to have received. But shortly afterwards, he called his 
Priests together, and in their presence, put a paper into the 
hand of Isidore, informing him that it was a memorial presented 
eighteen years before against him, and desiring him to answer 
it. Isidore represented the injustice of requiring him to defend 
himself when no accuser was present; and Theophilus, after 
shuffling for some time, promised that on another day the plain- 
tiff should be forthcoming. He soon, by a bribe, prevailed on 
a young man to undertake the character ; but the transaction 
came to the ears of Isidore ; and Theophilus, perceiving his 
scheme to be discovered, excommunicated that Priest, on pre- 

1 S. Hieronym. Epp. 06, 98, 100. 


tence of a heinous crime committed by him. His victim took 
refiige in the monastery on Momit Nitria^ where he had been 
brought up. Theophilus commanded the neighbouring Bishops 
to drive the principal Monks from their retreat^ without assign- 
ing any cause. Four brothers^ known by the surname of the 
Long^ Ammonius^ Dioscorus^ Eusebius^ and Euthymius^ men of banishes the 
great learning and reputation among the Monks^ presented then, 
themselves at Alexandria^ conjuring their Prelate to inform them 
wherein they had offended him : but they received the grossest 
insults^ and were taunted with vague accusations of Origenianism. 
Theophilus went farther ; he prevailed on five Monks whom he 
selected from Mount Nitria^ by bestowing on them Ecdesiasti- and other 
cal preferment^ to accuse thdr brethren^ and to sign memorials 
which he had himself composed. Fortified with these docu- 
ments, he obtained the assistance of the civil power in dispos- 
sessing the Monks of their mountain : and they retired, to the 
number of three hundred, into the surrounding provinces. Fifty 
of them, whom with others, to the number of eighty, the malice 
of Theophilus had pursued into Palestine, sought refuge at Con- 
stantinople; and casting themselves at the feet of S. John 
Chrysostom, implored his protection against the unprincipled 
attack of Theophilus.^ 

S. Chrysostom acted in this affidr with great prudence. He 
learnt, no less from the statement of the Monks themselves, than 
from the confession of some clerks of Theophilus, then at Con- 
stantinople, that great wrong had been done them ; at the same 
time, he was unwilling to come to an open rupture with the the Long 
Bishop of Alexandria, not only for the sake of preserving the constanti. 
peace of the Church, but because his own station was at this "°^ ® * 
time, through the machinations and violence of the Arians, 
exceedingly insecure. He therefore lodged the fugitives in the 
buildings attached to the Church of the Resurrection ; yet, while 
he allowed them to perform their devotions in it, and took care 
that their wants should be amply suppUed, he would not admit 
them to his communion. 

In the mean time he wrote to Theophilus, beseeching him, 
fi*om friendship to himself, his spiritual son, to receive them. In 
reply, Theophilus despatched the five monks whom he had 

* Sozomen, H. E. viii. 10. 


suborned, and their accusations were laid before S. Chrysostom* 
The exiled Monks, now thoroughly aroused, drew up a memorial 
of the violence they had suffered, and appended to it several 
grave accusations against their Bishop. Chrysostom wrote in 
more urgent terms to Theophilus, and received an angry answer, 
to the effect, that the Canons of Nicsea forbade one Bishop 
to interfere with the concerns of another ; that if the See of 
Alexandria was to be tried, a Synod of its own Bishops was 
the proper judge : and that the Bishop of Constantinople, 
at so great a distance, could in no case be a proper au- 
thority. S. Chrysostom, thus finding interference useless, 
contented himself with general exhortations to peace, and let the 
matter rest. Theophilus, pn the contrary, was determined that 
it should not sleep. He had at one time regarded S. Epiphanius 
as an Anthropomorphite ; but he was now glad to avail himself 
Theophilus of his authority.* Knowing his hatred of Origenianism, he 

of*E Tha* r^q^^s^^^ ^^^ *o assemble the Bishops of Cyprus, to condemn 
n»"«. the errors of that system, and then to send its Synodal letter 

' to S. Chrysostom. For, he hinted, the Bishop of Constantinople 
was not thoroughly opposed to them; as he had evinced by 
giving shelter to certain Egyptian monks condemned for holding 
them, who had taken refuge with him. At the same time, he 
wrote to S. Chrysostom, exhorting him to convene a Council for 
the same purpose. 
A.D. 403. S. Epiphanius, having done as he was requested, brought the 
acts of the Cyprian Council in person to Constantinople; ^ where 
he would not hold communion with Chrysostom, who had pro- 
posed to receive him with great honour. The four Fathers whom 
we have previously mentioned, not contented with the manner 
in which their cause was espoused by S. Chrysostom, presented 
a memorial to the Emperor, against Theophilus, and the latter 
was required to present himself at Constantinople for the purpose 
of justifying his proceedings. He did so ; and the result was 
very different from that which the parties interested in promoting 
his arrival had expected, 
and goes to Thcophilus brought with him many Egyptian Bishops : and 
nojie?"*** sonae from India,^ by which Abyssinia is probably meant. He 
was lodged for three weeks in one of the palaces of the Emperor : 

1 Sozomen, H. £. viii. 14. » Socrates, H. £. vi. 12. » Socrates, H. £. vi. 11. 


and daring the whole of that time pointedly abstained from every 
mark of communion with S. Chrysostom. The contrast be- 
tween the behaviour of the two Prelates to each other was indeed 
remarkable. Chrysostom^ although the Monks importuned him 
continually to do them justice^ would not take cognizance of an 
affair out of his own province; on the contrary, Theophilus 
wrought night and day to effect the destruction of his rival. 
Nor was he alone in his endeavours. The reform brought to 
pass by S. Chrysostom in his Church, had of course raised many 
enemies against him: already a deputation had been sent to 
Antioch, in the hope of discovering some fault of his youth, for 
which he might be deposed, — ^but to no purpose; Acacius, 
Bishop of Bersea, was incensed against him, and some Priests 
and Deacons, and a few ladies of consideration, at court, whom 
Chrysostom had reproved for their love of dress, and their false 
hair, were eager to revenge themselves upon him. Theophilus 
kept open house for all the discontented^ lavished his money 
where he thought it necessary, promised promotion to those who 
should remain faithful to him, and even engaged to restore two 
Deacons to their rank, one deprived for adxdtery, the other for 
murder, if he should succeed in his project.^ 

He then drew up a memorial to himself, which he caused to 
be signed by his partisans : it contained a number of false accu- 
sations, and only one true charge, which, even if proved, was 
immaterial. The Empress Eudoxia was won over to the side of 
the malcontents ; and by her means they doubted not that the 
Emperor would lend a favourable ear to their representations. 

Matters being thus ripe, Theophilus passed over to Chalcedon ; 
the Bishop of that place, Cyrinus, an Egyptian, was known to be 
an enemy of S. Chrysostom, and was unable, from an accidental 
wound, to cross the strait to Constantinople. A Council of synod of 
forty-five Bishops, .of whom thirty-six were Egyptian, were as- 
sembled in a suburb of Chalcedon, known by the name of the 
Oak : and twenty-nine articles of accusation were presented 
against S. Chrysostom. He on the other hand assembled a 
Council of forty Bishops in the hall of the Bishop's house. The 

^ The prejadiced account which Ba- spect to Sozomen and Socrates is as 

roniiis gives of the whole affair, is one violent as his reasons for contradicting 

of the greatest blemishes in this part them (see 402 1.) are weak, 
of his annals. His language with re- 


relation of this event belongs rather to the History of the 
Church cf Constantinople; Theophilns triumphed^ and S. 

s. chrysos- Chrysostom was deposed. He was forthwith banished by the 

andba. Empcror^s orders^ and carried over into Asia. His exile^ how- 
ever^ only lasted a day. On the night of his banishment^ an 
earthquake occurred^ which Eudoxia regarded as a warning of 
the Divine anger. The people loudly exclaimed against the 
Ehiperm*^ and against Theophilus ; orders were given for the 
recall of Chrysostom : there was a burst of popular joy when he 
crossed the strait ; and though unwilling to re-enter the city 

he returns: ^ acquittcd by a more num^ous Council than that which had 
CQOidenmed him^ he was constrained by the people to resume his 
ordinary episcopal functions. The sermon which he delivered 
act the occasion, in which he compares his Church to Sarah, and 
Theophilus to Pharaoh, is still extant. 

In the mean time, the Council at the Oak were in no small 
danger from the violence of the people. Theophilus, finding 

Theophiias that thcrc was a project of throwing him into the sea, embarked 
in the middle of the nighty and at the beginning of winter, when 
the navigation of the Mediterranean was dangerous, and 
hastened to Alexandria. He had previously recx)nciled himself 
with the two superiors of Mount Nitria, Eusebius and Euthy- 
mius, who were the only surviv<»*s of the four whom he had 
driven into exile. This very recondliatioai^ however, so easily 
^ected, exdted still more strongly popular indignation against 
Theophilus ; and that the rather because;, after all his opposi- 
tion to the works of Origen, he did not himself desist from 
reading them. This inconsistency was pointed out to him. 
" The works of Origcn,^^ he replied, " are like a meadow, adorned 
withTarious kinds of ikmen. If I find anything tueful or 
beautiful, I gather it ; if I light on anything poisonous, I pass 
it by.'^^ Of the whole of this proceeding, so disgraceful to Theo- 
philus, the Eastern histoirians say not one word.^ 

On his return, he wrote a long work against Chrysostom, in 
wbicb the languid is said to have been worthy of the design.^ 
We know it &om the description given of it by Faeundus. In the 

1 Le Qoieii, ii. 4Q7A. staadnoide, hat assigiu an entirdy 

> Renaadot, p. 103. Eutychius, false cause as its origin, (p. 535.) 

indeed, gives a slight account of a 3 Socrat. H.E. vi. 17. 

dispute between Alexandria and Con- 


final exile and persecution of S. Chiysostom, however, Theophilua a.d. 403. 
seems to have borne no part. Had the request of S. Innocent to 
Honorins for a general Council been attended with success, it is 
more than probable that the Bishop of Alexandria would have 
paid the penalty of his violence by his deposition* Yet it is 
fair to remember, that, had the grounds of S. Chrysostom^s con«> 
demnation been just, Theophilus was only exercising an undoubt^ 
ed right in the deposition of a guilty Patrkrch of Constantinople. 

It is, however, but charitable to hope, that in the nine re« 
maming yean of Ms life, his repentance was rincere. AM there 
are the more grounds for believing this, because of the willing* 
ness which he displayed, after the death of S. Chrysostom, to 
communicate with the Bishops of his party,^ and his intercourse 
with the illustrious Synesius. Syne»us was a native of Cyrene : synesiua 
he had studied philosophy at Alexandria, where he also married, ptoiemsds : 
Theophilus performing the ceremony. He gave himself up, on 
his return to his own country, to his studies, and to the plea* 
sures of the chase :^ but his reputation was so great that it was 
proposed to elevate him to the See of Ptolemais, which, as we 
hare seen in the Introduction, was at this time invested with lus Legran- 
Metropolitical, or rather Legantine dignity. To this henty: 
offered the greatest resistance, declaring, in the first place, that 
his faith on the subject of the Resurrection whs not the same 
with that of the Church : and in the second, that he by no 
means proposed to himself to observe continence.^ Theophilus 
convinced him that, on the first point, his creed was essentially 
Catholic : and was content, in order to avail himself of his ser- 
vices, to overlook the second. And, in fact, this {n*oceedingwas 
folly justified by the event. Synesius became an excellent 
Prelate : and his letters, still extant, evince the respect and sub- 
nnssion he entertained for the decisions of the Evangelical chair. 

We have already mentioned that Siderius had, by S. Athana* 
sius, been consecrated Bishop of the little town of Palsebisca. 
He had no successor : and the See was again united with that 
of Erythrum.* Paul, Bishop of the latter place, was exceed- 
ingly beloved : but Thet^Ailus, thinking it more for the interest ms mission 
of the Church, that Pakebisea should once more be constituted btsca T" 

1 See Baronius, 407. xxxvi. > Synedus, Ep. 105. 246 D. 

3 Synesias, Calvit. Encom. 66 D. * Synesins, Ep. 67. 208 A. 


a separate See, despatched Synesius thither to arrange the 
matter. The iohabitants of Palsebisca, while professing the 
greatest respect for the decrees of the See of Alexandria, be- 
sought with the most pitiable entreaties that they might not be 
deprived of the watchful tenderness of Paul. Women held up 
their children to move compassion : and neither the promises 
nor the threats of the legate could prevail over their deep-rooted 
affection. He adjourned the assembly for four days ; but the 
next meeting presented the same scene; and Synesius, quite 
overcome by the affection of these poor people, advised Theo- 
philus not to insist on the point : and the latter consented. 

But Synesius, on proper occasions, knew how to display the 
most determined firmness.^ Andronicus of Berenice, a city of 
PentapoUs, having purchased his situation by bribery, used it 
to practise the most odious cruelties. He invented new instru- 
ments of torture : the hall of justice had become a mere place 
his contest of puuishmeut. The people complained to Synesius : and the 
ulcus. ' latter warned the Governor, but uselessly, against the course he 
was pursuing. Andronicus, instead of paying any attention to 
' this remonstrance, affixed to the doors of the church an edict 
against the Priests. At length, as Synesius requested him to 
set free a man of high birth, whom he was putting, without any 
pretext, to the torture, Andronicus exclaimed to his prisoner, 
*^ Your trust in the Church is hopeless : if you had clasped the 
knees of Christ Himself, He should not deliver you.*^ Having 
heard this blasphemy, Synesius solemnly excommunicated its 
author, and announced this proceeding in a letter to all the 
Bishops of Pentapolis. Andronicus was terrified, and made a 
profession of penitence : Synesius did not believe him in earnest^ 
but yielding to the persuasion of Bishops more experienced than 
himself, he re-admitted him to communion. The event justified 
his suspicions; Andronicus committed greater excesses than 
before^ and was finally disgraced and imprisoned. Synesius 
interceded for him with the civil government, and procured the 
alleviation of his punishment. 
TheophiiQB lu the ucxt year, Theophilus fell sick of a lethargy, w}iich 
A.D.412. ^proved to be mortal. Just before his death, he exclaimed^ 
" Happy wert thou, Abbat Arsenius,^^ (referring to one of the 

1 Synesius, Ep. 72. 218 C. Ep.89.230D. Ep. 58. 201 B. 


most illuatrious of the Egyptian monks,) ''to liave Iiad tliis hour 
constantly before thine eyes !" 

So died Theophilus, in the twenty-eighth year of his episco- 
pate. His faults are obvious to all, and admit of no defence. 
His ambition, his intolerance of opposition, his total want of 
principle, are displayed in his persecution of the Monks of 
Mount Mtria, and of S. Chrysoetom. Bat he had also virtues, for 
which he was esteemed by his contemporaries, and held in 
honour after his death.' His care of his province was most 
exemplary: his orthodoxy was never questioned; his writings 
were afterwards appealed to as authorities ; his eccleBiastical 
regulations were judicious. His Paschal Cycle was celebrated in 
antiquity.' He created several new Bishoprics : but is said 
neither to have been sufficiently careful of the character of those 
whom he consecrated, nor of the Canon which forbade the erec- 
tion of a See in a hamlet or village. On the whole, he appears 
to have possessed most of the requisites for a good Bishop, 
exc^ the most important of all, — personal piety ^ 



On the death of Theophilus, two claimants of the Chair of 8. s. crrii, 
Mark appeared. The one was Timctheua, Archdeacon of Alex- a.d'.hi. ' 
andria, who was supported by the influence of the Prefect ; the 
other .Cyril, brother's, or as the Arabian writers will have it, 
sister's,^ son to the deceased Bishop. The people were on the 
point of sedition : but at length the party of Cyril, providen- 
tially for the Church, prevailed.^ After a vacancy of three days, 
the neighbouring Prelates assembled,® and laying the Gospels on 

' S. Ii«o, inonepIaM, Bpeaksof turn There is s corioos paggage in Sollerias, 
u " SanctK memoritt Theophilus" : p. 5Z»D, in which he seenu to assert 
and in another, coaples him with 8. that the BoUaodists had some idea that 
Atbanasiiis and S. Cyril as " proba- llieophilns pogsessed a claim to be 
tissimoe pneaules." placed in the Citalogiue of the Saints. 

' Le Quien, ii. 407 A. * Renandot, p. 108. 

■ HeiscommemorBUidbjtheCoptie ' Socrot. H. E. lii. 7. 

Church on tlie eighth da; of October. ' Serenu ap. Rcnsndot, p. 103. 



[book I. 

His eaxly 
edncatifHi : 

his great 

he attacks 
the Nova- 

the head of the Bishop electa prayed over him^ that God, Who 
had chosen him, would strengthen him with the virtue necessary 
for the well governing of His Holy Church. 

Cyril had been brought up under Serapion, on Mount Nitria; 
he had early displayed great dihgence in study : and is said to 
have known the New Testament by heart. It is the reproach of S. 
Isidore of Pelusium,in a letter addressed to him, that his thoughts 
were rather with the world than in the desert.^ After five years' 
abode in Mount Nitria, his uncle summoned him to Alexandria, 
where he was ordained, and where he expounded and preached 
with great reputation. His favourite authors, if we may be» 
lieve the Jacobite Severus, were S. Dionysius of Alexandria, 
S. Athanasius, S. Clement of Borne, and S. Basil. The works of 
Origen he held in abhorrence, and would neither read them 
himself, nor have any communication with those who did. 

The power of the Alexandrian Bishop was now very great : it is 
somewhat inconsistently, by writers of the Roman Communion, 
termed excessive i^ and S. Cyril, from the first, seems to have 
determined that it should lose nothing in his hands. Indeed 
from the hasty and violent actions which distinguished the be- 
ginning of his episcopate, we should rather expect a repetition 
of the outrages of Theophilus, than, — ^in spite of whatever 
infidel or schismatical historians may choose to call it, — ^the 
noble defence of the perfect Divinity of our Redeemer, which 
has rendered his memory precious to the Church. 

The See of Alexandria was not, at this time, in Communion 
with that of Rome : the Western Church had vindicated the 
character, and now revered the memory, of S. Chrysostom; Theo- 
philus, on the other hand, and, following in his steps, Cyril, 
would not insert the name of that illustrious Prelate in the 
sacred diptychs ; that is, in the hst of those Bishops who were 
commemorated in the office of the Holy Eucharist. And this 
state of things lasted for several years. 

Cyril's two earhest acts were by no means worthy of hiB 
character or of his dignity. He not only closed the churches of 
the Novatians, but deprived them of their vessels and treasures, 
and confiscated the property of Theopemptus, the Bishop of that 

^ S. Isid. Pel. £p. i. 25. " Alexandrini Fatriarchae auctoritas 

^ See the § in Le Quien, ii. 362, Egypti Ecclesise exitialis.^' 


sect. He next exerted himself against the Jews ; and certainly 
not without great provocation. Hierax^ one of his most zealous 
auditors^ was in the theatre, while the Governor was transacting 
in that place some civil business.^ The Jews who were present 
cried out, that he came for the purpose of exciting sedition. a.d.415. 
Orestes, the (Jovemor, had long been offended at the enormous 
power assumed by the Bishop, and the more so, as it encroached 
on his own : he was glad therefore of any excuse for venting his 
anger on Cyril, and having arrested Hierax, caused him to be 
scourged publicly on the spot. Cyril sent for the principal 
persons among the Jews, threatened them severely, and charged 
them to beware how they again excited popular feeling against 
the Christians. The Jews, in their turn indignant, concerted a 
general massacre of their adversaries ; and, on an appointed night, 
having taken care previously to distinguish themselves so as to be 
easily recognizable by each other, gave the alarm in all quarters of 
the city at once, that the great church was on fire. The Christians 
rushed forth in large numbers to give their assistance : the J ews 
fell upon them, and despatched not a few. On the following 
day, Cyril, with a large body of his adherents, and the cor- 
poration of the Parabolani, whose office it was to visit the sick wdJews. 
in time of plague or other mortality, and who were thus 
familiarized with scenes of horror, attacked their synagogues, 
drove the Jews themselves out of the city, and gave up 
their houses to a general sack. Orestes was justly indig- 
nant that Cyril should thus have taken the law into his own 
hands : and was besides fearful that the commercial prosperity 
of the city would receive a blow from the compulsory exile of so 
many of its inhabitants. He drew up a representation of the 
case for the Emperor's consideration ; and the Bishop forwarded 
a counter-memorial. But the latter some short time afterwards, Slth orest* 
probably thinking that he had carried matters with too high a ^^' 
hand, requested to be reconciled with Orestes; the latter ob- 
stinately refused. The Monks of Nitria, hearing this, came in 
a crowd to the city, and attacked the Governor in his chariot ; 
and one of them, named Ammonius, wounded him severely with 
a stone. The culprit was arrested, condemned, and executed ; 
Cyril ordered that his name should be changed to Thaun\asius, 

1 Socrat. H.£. vii. 26, 13, and Yalesius's note. 



f admirable, J and that he should be honoured as a Martyr. But 
the more sober part of his people were opposed to the step : and 
in the course of a few years, Cyril himself was glad to let this 
monstrous canonization sink into oblivion. 

Hmtia?* I* would have been well had matters stopped here. But the 
people, imagining that a lady of high birth, celebrated as one 
of the first philosophers of the day, and the correspondent of 
Synesius, named Hypatia, was the chief hindrance to the re- 
concihation of Orestes with their Bishop, attacked her, headed 
by one Peter, a reader, in the street, dragged her into the Csesarea, 
tore her in pieces^ and burnt her remains in a public place. This 
audacious crime deservedly threw a dark cloud over the reputation 
of Cyril, which was not dispersed for some time ; and was the 
occasion of a severe law from Constantinople, to prevent for the 
future the like excesses, as well as to restrain the nimiber of the 
Parabolani, and to deprive the Patriarch of their nomination. 

The name of S. Chrysostom was inserted in the diptychs 
about this time, first at Antioch, and then at Constantinople ; 
Atticus, Bishop of the latter See, wrote to Cyril, excusing him- 
self for the act, and exhorting him to imitate it. Cyril blamed 
what had been done, and positively refused to follow the example 
of the other great Sees. S. Isidore of Pelusium, hearing of 
this, wrote in strong terms to Cyril, exhorting him not to 
imitate the passionate violence of his uncle, nor to let private 
hatred, under the mask of piety, entail a perpetual schism on 

s. Cyril in the Churchcs. The other yielded to this remonstrance, and, it 

commuDion ^ , "^ ^ , "^ 

a'd ?iT^' ^^ ®^^^ ^^ * supernatural vision : and thus Alexandria came 
once more into Communion with Bome.* 

The Pelagian heresy made but few converts at Alexandria ; 
and S. Cyril therefore took no prominent part in defending the 
Doctrine of Divine Grace. He was principally employed in the 
quiet government of the Church, and in the composition of some 
of his voluminous writings. Among these we may mention the 
earhest of his Paschal Homilies, of which we have twenty-nine, 
from A.D. 414 to a.d. 442 :^ his seventeen books on "Worship in 

' Nic. 14, 28. Baronius, 412. Ixiii. and some two years later. See Baron» 

It seems better to refer the reception of 412, xxiv: and Holland. Jan. 8, S. 

the name of S. Chrysostom, with Theo- Atticus, viii. 

phanes, to the year 419: although 2 ggg Aubert, Prolegom. ' Op. S. 

some have placed it seven years earlier ; Cyril, v. ii. 


Spirit and in Truth/' his Glaphyra, or commentary on the 
Pentateuch ; and those on Isaiah^ the Minor Prophets^ and S. 
John. He also confuted the treatise of Julian the Apostate 
against Christianity : and the remark which Severus makes on 
this subject is an amusing proof how little dependence can be 
placed onhis accounts. JuUan's treatise^ says he^ was worse than the 
writings of Origen or Porphyry; which is the same thing as if an 
historian of the present day were to declare that the works of Vol- 
taire were more dangerous than those of Bishop Taylor or Gibbon. 

It would seem that years were necessary to mellow down the 
spirit of S. Cyril, before he could be a fit instrument in the 
Hand of God for the maintenance of the Faith^ in the great 
contest to which he was to be called. 

Egyptian monasticism still maintained its high sanctity : and M^fn'*^^" 
continued to produce recluses whose names are had in *=^"*- 
veneration by the whole Church. Of these, Arsenius, the same 
who was envied by the dying Theophilus, stood forth at this 
time the most illustrious. A Deacon of the Roman Church, he 
had been entrusted with the education of the young Arcadius : 
and having irritated the Prince by inflicting on him corporal 
punishment, escaped to Alexandria^ and at length took refuge 
in the desert of Scete, where he received the apologies and for- 
gave the anger, of Arcadius. Here he dwelt for forty years, 
distinguished above all other monks by his love of soUtude. 
When that part of Egypt was ravaged by the barbarians, he re- 
tired into another wilderness : where he lived fifteen years longer* 

It is a strange and almost incredible picture that Cassian draws, c^sian 

visits til 6 

who visited the most celebrated Egyptian monasteries towards Monaste. 
the close of the fourth century. On the mountains of S. 
Antony five thousand monks followed his example, and venerated 
his memory. Near Hermopolis, S. Apollonius was charged with 
the spiritual conduct of five hundred recluses : S. Isidore, in the 
Thebais, with that of a thousand. At Antinous, Dioscorus in- 
structed twice that number : five thousand occupied the Desert 
of Nitria ; five hundred that of Cells. The Rule of Tabenna 
was followed in most of the Egyptian monasteries : twice a year 
the monks met, or, as it would afterwards have been termed, 
held a chapter of their order : at Easter, and in August ; and 
the Easter Communion was sometimes attended by fifty thousand 



monks. These monasteries consisted^ for the most part^ of 
about thirty houses : each house contained a certain number of 
brethren, generally about forty, who all wrought at the same 
trade : and these were distributed by three and three in cells. 
The houses were distinguished by the letters of the alphabet, 
and the inmates of the house wore that letter worked on their 
habit. Three or four houses formed a tribe, — ^that is, a body 
that during one week took, in turns, the manual labour, the 
more immediate service of the Church, and every other branch 
of monastic discipUne. Their usual food was biscuit and water : 
of the latter they took two of six ounces each, one at three in 
the afternoon, the other at sunset. This quantity of food was 
not easily eaten by the novices, but was found necessary, after 
long trial. On Festivals, the first meal was taken at noon : 
but no alteration was made in the quantity or quality of the 

They met for prayer at night-fall, and at midnight. It con- 
sisted of twelve Psalms, recited by one of their number, stand- 
ing, the rest sitting on low stools ; for their labours and fastings 
did not permit them to stand. At the end of each Psalm, they 
rose, continued awhile in mental prayer, prostrated themselves 
for a moment, and again sat. To the Psalms were added two 
lessons, one from the Old, and one from the New Testament : 
except on Saturday, Sunday, imd in the Paschal Season, when 
they were both from the New Testament. They communicated 
on Saturday and Sunday morning : on other mornings they did 
not meet for prayer, but continued at work in their cells, and 
engaged in mental devotion. 

But the nearest approach to Heaven which was ever made by 
the Church Militant, was to be found at Oxyrinchus. It was a 
large city : but the monks and consecrated virgins formed the 
greater part of the population. The number of the former was 
ten, of the latter twenty thousand. There was neither heretic 
nor Pagan in this city. It contained, besides the oratories of 
the recluses, twelve churches : the praise of God continually 
resounded in its streets ; and by the order of the magistrates, 
there were police continually on the look out for the poor and 
the strange, who were constantly supplied and lodged by the 
wealthier citizens. 




A.D. 428, 



A.D. 451. 

BXeVft^ 7a Oavfiara, xal avak7ipv.TTU) t^v Oeoii^ra' op& 7a vdOtj, koI 
ovK dpvovfiai 7^v 'Av0pw7r67rf7a, 'AW'o 'Efifiavov^X fpv<reu)9 fieu irvXa^ 
aviv^^ev ws avOpiVTro^, irapOevia^ he xkeiOpa ov Bieppiff^ev ws Oeo^ ' aW 
<W7u)9 eK fiy7pa9 i^ijXOev, ws Si axorj^ ela^XOev* 0V7U)9 er^evvi^Oij, m 
avveXi^fpOTi * airaOCb^ elffrjXOev^ axf>0dp7W9 e^ijXOe, 

S. Proclus, Homilia in Iiicamationem Yerbi. 




We now approach the critical period of Alexandrian History. 
We shall see the Church of Egypt, in the brief space of twenty- 
three years, stand forth the foremost champion of Catholic Truth, 
and its deadliest enemy ; — ^we shall see it overthrowing ration- 
alism, and succumbing to mysticism : we shall find it at length 
rent into two opposing Communions, both continuing to this 
day, and thenceforth declining, till the second See in the Chris- 
tian Church sunk to an unassignable position among Cathohc 
Bodies, till its succession of Patriarchs has become little more 
than a name, and the region once so illustrious for Bishops and 
Martyrs, is almost swallowed up by the doctrines of the False 
Prophet of Mecea. 

We are bound therefore to dwell more minutely on the two 
controversies which distracted the Church concerning the In- 
carnation of the Son of God, than we did on that, which while 
its subject-matter may be held *of more importance, left no trace 
behind it ; — ^the Arian heresy. It would seem as if rationalism, 
in its strong-hold, Antioch, unable longer to deny the True 
Divinity of the Word, sought another outlet whereby it might 
trouble the Church. Of the rise of the new heresy we are 
now to write : and it will be necessary for awhile to leave Alex- 
andria, that we may trace the controversy to its source.^ 

Sisinnius, the successor of S. Atticus on the Throne of Constan- Deputed 

, . . .f, 1 , succession at 

tinople, departed this life, after a Pontificate of less than two oonstanti- 
years, on the twenty-fourth day of December, a.d. 437.^ The 
choice of his successor was a question of much difficulty. A 
large number of the clergy were in favour of Proclus, the 
Metropolitan of Cyzicum, who is reckoned among the Saints ; 
but Philip, a Presbyter of the Church of Constantinople, had 

^ It is hardly necessary to say how and diligence of Gamier, in his invalu- 
much, in the first half of the following able edition of Marius Mercator. 
book, we are indebted to the learning ^ Socrat. H. E. vii. 26. 


also his partizans^ and there seemed but httle likeUhood that the 
contending factions would be able to agree in the election. Theo- 
dosius^ desirous of composing the difference by the ncoiuiaation 
of a third party^ cast his eyes for that puipoae ofn the Church 
of Antioch ; both because its Fredbyters were at that time cele- 
brated &r Ifsmiing and eloquence ; and doubtless also because 
the memory of S. John Chrysostom seemed to render such a 
choice popular and full of promise. 
Character of Amoug the clcrgy of Antioch, Nestorius had the highest 
reputation. A native of the little town of G^rmanicia, he had 
embraced the monastic life in the house of S. Euprepius near 
Antioch. On entering the Priesthood, he was made Catechist of 
the Church of that city : and in that capacity was noted for the 
facility with which he exposed and combated the heresies of the 
day. He had studied under Theodore of Mopsuestia; and was 
imbued by him with those unsound principles of rationalising 
tendency which, a century earlier, might have made him a ready 
disciple of Arius, but which now, without at present assuming, 
either in his master or in himself, any very definite form, floated 
round and obscured the Doctrine of the Incarnation. His learn- 
ing was not deep: but his asceticism, his soUtary life, his decisive 
and dogmatical manner, and above all, his great power of 
extempore eloquence, rendered him the admiration of the citizens 
of Antioch. He was an imitator of S. Chrysostom in his style 
and sentiments, and employed himself principally, and with 
sufficient effect, in attacking the Arian and Apollinarian heresies. 
It has been the fashion to regard him as a man who, having 
thoroughly digested his own system, simulated asceticism, and 
affected piety, for the sake of attaining an eminence whence lie 
might propagate and support it. But it is unnecessary to attri- 
bute any such well-^formed plan to one who, in truth, seems 
neither to have been possessed of talent nor powers of dis- 
simulation, to render it effectual. It is sufficient to regard 
him as weak, and ambitious, but as much inferior to Anus in 
power as superior to him in moraUty; one who regarded the 
orthodox with a great degree of contempt, as illogical and super- 
stitious ; and who was determined, if the occasion should present 
itself, to propagate those purer and more enlightened principles 
which he believed himseK to possess. 


On receiving the Emperor's summons to Constantinople^ he Heisoonse. 
chose for his companion Anastasius^ a fellow Priest^ who was Patriarch, 
imbued with the same sentimeiits as himself^ and of whose a.d. 488. 
assistance he afterwards availed himsdfL His nomination was 
popular; and he was consecrated amidst a krge eoncourse of 
Prelates^ Priests^ and Laity. A speech which he shortly after- 
wards made in public to Theodosius^ was considered at least as 
derogatory from his humility as expressive of his zeal. ^^ Give 
me, O Emperor/' he exclaimed, " a world freed from heresy, 
and I will bestow on you the Kingdom of Heaven as your 
reward. Assist me in quelling heretics ; and I will assist you in 
putting the Persians to flight." 

Nor did his somewhat intemperate zeal confine itself to words. ^^^**^*°' 
Only five days after his consecration, he demolished a church of ^p'" **• 
the Arians. Its possessors set fire to it ; the flames spread ; 
and had not the wind providentiaUy changed, that quarter of the 
city would have been reduced to ashes. The populace, from 
this circumstance, bestowed on their Prelate the name of " the 
incendiary," and the fact was afterwards remembered and com- 
mented on. He attacked with similar violence Macedonians, 
Pelagians, and Novatians ; and shortly afterwards procured a law ^^^ ^^' 
from the Emperor against all heretics. A deed of at least equal 
merit was his extinguishing the last spark of hatred against the 
memory of S. John Ghrysostom, whose name, though precious 
among the citizens of Constantinople, had up to this time been 
regarded with jealousy and dislike by the Court. 

Whatever might have been the opinions, and the general sys- 
tem of Nestorius, his orthodoxy seems to have been unsus- 
pected for seven months after his ordination. A circumstance 
then occurred which brought him into direct collision with the 
implicit teaching of the Church. 

Anastasius, the Presbyter whom we have already mentioned, fl°'JJ^J|g 
preaching in the great church, and in the presence of Nesto- JJ**'of JJJ^ 
rius, asserted that the Blessed Virgin Mary had no right to the q^^^' °' 
title of Mother of God : for, said he, she was a human creature, November 
and Deity cannot be bom of humanity. A tumult instantly 
arose in the church, and the preacher was compelled to pause ; 
on which a Bishop, Dorotheus by name, and one of the most 
intimate friends of Nestorius, rose in his place, and said, in a 



the new 
Dec. 36. 

loud voice, '* If any man affirm Mary to be the Mother of God, 
let him be anathema/' Nestorius, in the increasing confasion, 
shewed by his silence that he approved the new doctrine ; and^ 
not content with thus negatively supporting it, he prepared to 
uphold it by most vigorous measures.^ 

On Christmas Day, the great church, as usual, was thronged 
with worshippers; and Nestoriufr openly stood forward the 
patron of the new heresy .2 After a few common-place ob- 
servations on the general providence of God, he proceeded to 
dwell on the Incarnation as its most wonderful display. Man, 
he observed, the image of Divine Nature, had been attacked 
and corrupted by the devil: for man, he proceeded (using a 
metaphor happy from its appositeness to the then state of 
things), the King of Kings grieved, as for a violated statue of 
his own, and by forming a nature, without human seed, in the 
womb of the Virgin, brought to pass by a man the restoration 
of humanity. 

"Hath God,'' he continued, "a Mother? Then may we 
excuse Paganism for giving mothers to their divinities. Then 
was Paul a liar when he testified concerning Christ, that He 
"without father, without mother, without descent." No : 


Mary was not the Mother of God. For "that which is bom of 
the flesh is flesh ; and that which is bom of the Spirit is spirit." 
A creature brought not forth Him Who is uncreated; the 
Father begat not of the Virgin an Infant God, the Word ; for 
in the beginning was the Word, as John saith : a creature 
bore not the Creator, but rather a Man who was the organ of 
Deity. For the Holy Ghost created not God the Son : and 
^ that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost' ; but 
He fabricated of the Virgin a Temple, wherein God the Word 
should dwell. God was incarnate, but never died ; yea, rather 
elevated him in whom He was incarnate : He descended to raise 

that which had fallen, but He fell not Himself. 

On account of the employer, then, I venerate the vestment 

^ This account seems to be, as Gar- 
nier thinks it, the best way of recon- 
ciling two opposing stories — the one of 
Socrates, (H. E. vii. 32,) that Anasta- 
sius first preached the new heresy : the 
other of S. Cyril, (B^t, ad Acacium,) 

that Dorotheus first propagated it, and 
that with an anathema. 

2 A translation of the sermon, or 
rather of an abridgement of it, is given 
by Marias Mercator, (Opp. Ed. Gar- 
nier, P. ii. p. 5.) • 


which He employed : on account of that which is concealed^ I 
adore that which appears/' 

The horror which these doctrines occasioned were so exces- 
sive^ that^ even in the presence of that august assembly^ there 
were not wanting some who openly expressed their indignation. 
A monk was bold enough to oppose the celebration, by Nes- 
torius, of the Holy Mysteries ; and, as the reward of his zeal, 
he was publicly scourged, and driven into exile. Yet this vio- 
lence was without effect on the popular mind ; and the greater 
part of the pious inhabitants of Constantinople abstained from 
the communion of their patriarch. 

At the commencement of the following vear, Nestorius de- *»** second 

c? "^ ' sermon : 

livered his second sermon in defence of his docnna. The mode- i*!l"*?Z.*' 

^ A.D. 4S9. 

ration of tone in the second, as compared with the first sermon, 
is remarkable ; and the same observation is also applicable to 
the third, delivered a •few days subsequently, possibly on the 
Feast of the Epiphany. 

In this discourse, while he applauds the piety and reverence histwrd: 
of his flock, he severely rebukes them for their want of a proper 
knowledge of God. From hence, he proceeds to establish the 
two Natures of Christ, on which his sentiments are sufficiently 
orthodox and temperate; and then dilates on the Scriptural 
argument, which he conceived to he against His One Person. 
It is never, he observes, said in the Gospel that God was born, 
or that God died : the term employed on such occasions is 
Jesus, or Christ, or Lord. This point he endeavours at 
length to estabKsh ; and, singularly enough, in the course of 
his argument, he reveals how low were his views on the subject 
of the Holy Eucharist. His conclusion is this : — " Say of Him 
That assumed, that He is God ; and of that which was assumed, 
that it was the form of a servant. Then infer the dignity of 
the union, because the authority of the two is common — ^be- 
cause the dignity of the two is the same ; and while the natures 
remain separate, confess the oneness of their conjunction.^^ 

The seventeenth Paschal Epistle of S. Cyril was read, as the xvii. Pas- 
custom was, on the Feast of the Epiphany. It is certain, there- of s. c§?rii? 
fore, that if the first sermon of Nestorius were delivered on the 
preceding Christmas Day, S. Cyril would not have seen it ; but 
he might very well have heard of the occurrences at the end of 


November, and of the anathema then pronounced by Doro- 
theus. It is not wonderful, then, that he should devote 
the homily to a discussion of the Doctrine of the Incarnation. 
It must be confessed that, in some of his statements, the writer 
goes to the very verge of Catholic truth ; and it is almost ne- 
cessary to receive them with a tacit e:^planation of his words in 
an orthodox sense. Among these passages, his explanation of 
. the text, " Jesus increased in wisdom and stature," stands pre- 
eminent.^ The name of Nestorius, and all allusions to Con- 
stantinople, are suppressed. 

In that city a spirit of determined opposition was also awakened; 

and, as has been so often the case in a holy cause, it began with 

the laity, and, through Monks and Priests, finally communicated 

Eusebiusat- itsclf to Bishops. Euscbius, then an advocate at Constantinople, 

tacks Nes- . 

torius: afterwards Bishop of Dorylaeum, put forth a short pamphlet, in 

which he accused Nestorius of renewing #the heresy of Paul of 

about Samosata. ^^ I conjure those who shall read these lines" — 

January 15. . * 

thus the writer commences it, — " by the Most Holy Trinity, 
to communicate it to all Bishops, Priests, Deacons, Headers, 
and laymen, residing in Constantinople, to the evident confusion 
of the heretic Nestorius, as evincing him to hold the sentiments 
of Paul of Samosata, condemned a hundred and sixty years 
since by Catholic Bishops." 
and isfoi- While this composition was the principal topic of conversation 

lowed by j: x x 

Marius Mer- jn thc city, Marius Mercator, a resident in Constantinople, and a 
about man of considerable power in religious controversy, brought out a 
pamphlet on " the difference between the heresy of Nestonus, and 
those of Paul of Samosata, Ebion, Photinus, and Marcellus f 
and this treatise was also conducive towards the exposure of the 
new teaching. By degrees, the Priests took up the defence of 
the faith ; and one or two who had ventured in the church of 
Discontent g. Irene-next-thc-Sca, to inveigh against Nestorius, were, 

at ^onsxan* • ^^ ^ ^ • -i 

tinopie. by his authority, suenced. ''We have an Emperor," exclauned 

February 15. j^q populacc, " but uo Bishop." Complaiuts were brought 

forward in all quarters against the Patriarch : he was charged 

with want of charity towards the poor, covetousness, and in- 

' S. Cyril, 0pp. V. ii. 230 B. It is should place it in a.d. 430. Pagi 
singular that Gamier, contrary to the remarks this also, 429. xiv. Fleury 
date affixed by this letter to Easter, xxy. 8. 


dolence ; and threats were heard of casting into the sea one who 
had now manifested himself to be a wolf in sheep^s clothing. 

Nestorius^ alarmed at the turn which a£fairs were takings 
threw himself on the Emperor^s protection ; and Theodosius took 
care to repress by an exertion of his authority^ the murmurs of 
the people. 

The Festival of the Annunciation drew on : and Proclus, s. Produs 

preaches on 

whom we have already mentioned as one of the candidates for the incar. 

• 1 nation. 

the Throne of Constantinople^ was appointed to preach on that March 25. 
day. He had been consecrated Metropolitan of Gyzicum by 
Sisinnius : but the clerks of that church claimed the election^ 
and would not admit the Fatriarch^s nominee. Froclus there- 
fore resided at Constantinople as a Friest attached to the great 
church : and his eloquence pointed him out as an appropriate 
preacher to address so numerous an audience on so august an 
occasion. Nestorius was present in person : and it is easy to 
judge what his feelings must have been when Froclus delivered 
his magnificent oration on '' the Virgin Mother of God '^ : an 
oration which^ if we except a few homilies of S. John Chrysos- 
tom^ finds no match in the treasures of Oriental Theology. It 
was the Festival of the Virgin^ he said> that had called that 
assembly together; — ^that Virgin to whom earth and ocean 
emulously offered their best and their noblest gifts ; she who 
was typified by the bush that burnt with fire, and was not con- 
sumed : — ^the Mother and the Maiden, — ^the Bridge from God 
toman; — in whose womb the incircumscript God found an 
habitation ; who embraced Him Whom the Heaven of Heavens 
cannot contain. "God/^ continued the orator, "was bom of a 
woman, but not mere God : — ^man was bom of her, — ^but not 
man unmixed : and He made the gate of ancient sin the gate 
of safety, and where the Serpent by disobedience had diffused 
his poison, the Word, by obedience, formed a living Temple. 
Be not, man, ashamed of that Birth ; — ^it was the means of 
thy Salvation. If God had not been bom. He could not have 
died; if He had not died He could not have destroyed him 
that had the power of death, that is, the devU. It is no injury 
to the architect to remain in the building which he himself has 
raised; it is no pollution to the potter to renew the clay 
whick he himself has formed ; it contaminates not the In- 


contaminable to proceed from the Womb of the Virgin. In 
that Womb the deed of our common liberty was engrossed; in 
that Womb the panoply against death was fabricated. There^ 
as in a Temple^ 6od was made a Priest ; — not changing the 
nature that He had^ but out of compassion putting on that 
which is after the order of Melchisedech. The Word was made 
Flesh, although the Jews believe not the truth; Gron put on the 
form of man^ though the Pagans deny the miracle : and for this 
cause the Mystery is to the Jews a stumbling block, and to the 
Greeks foolishness. If the Word had never dwelt in the 
womb^ Flesh could never have ascended the Throne. If God 
had abhorred to enter the Virgin, it had been an injury to the 
Angels to minister to man. We speak not of a deified man ; we 
confess an Incarnate God. He That is in his essence without a 
Mother, is in the earthly economy of grace without a Father ; 
or else how shall we say with Paul, without father, without 
mother ? If He be purely man, He is not without a Mother : 
if He be purely God, He is not without a Father; but now He, 
remaining one and the same, is without a Mother as the Former, 
and without a Father as the formed." Thence Proclus takes 
occasion to dwell on the debt which human nature owed, and of 
its utter inability to pay : a debt which could be paid by none 
but God, and which God accordingly condescended to pay. If 
Christ be one, and the Word another, we have no longer a 
Trinity, but a Quatemity. This were to rend the tunic of the 
dispensation, woven from the top throughout ; this were to be a 
disciple of Anus, and with him to divide the Essence ; — ^this 
were to sever the Unity, and to be ourselves severed from God. 
He came to save, but it was necessary also that He should suffer: 
and how could both these things be ? A mere man could not 
save ; a mere God could not suffer : but He That was God by 
essence, became man : and that which was, saved ; and that 
which was made, suffered. " I see," concludes the Saint, " His 
miracles, and I proclaim His Deity : I behold His sufferings^ 
and I deny not His Humanity : Emmanuel opened the gates 
of nature as man ; but burst not the bars of virginity as God. 
He so came forth from the womb of Mary, as by hearing He 
entered, [when she heard the Angelic Salutation] : so was He bom, 
as He was conceived: without human passion He entered: without 


human corruption He came forth ;* as saith the Prophet Ezekiel: 
This gate shall be shut^it shall not be opened^ and no man shall 
pass out thereat : because the Lord^ the God of Israel^ hath 
passed out thereat^ therefore shall it be shut. Behold the mani- 
fest setting forth of S. Mary, the Mother of God. Henceforth 
let contradiction be at an end : that, being enlightened with the 
knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, we may obtain the Kingdom 
of Heaven for ever and ever.'' 

As soon as the preacher had concluded, the loud and long- 
eontinued applause of the congregation gave token that his 
sentiments on the controverted question were entirely their own. 
Nestorius, with great presence of mind, relying on his power of 
extempore discourse, rose in his place, and commenced an 
address to the people. Though his name had not. been men- 
tioned, nor his office Innted at, by Proclus, the allusions to his 
three sermons were frequent and manifest ; and the turn given 
to the text, without Father , without Mother, sufficiently showed 
the person whom Proclus had in view. It must be allowed that 
the answer of Nestorius, considering the circumstances under 
which he spoke, — ^the eloquent discourse that had preceded, the 
infuriated multitude that surrounded, and, above aQ, the badness 
of the cause that he supported, evinces a high degree of coolness, 
judgment, and tact. No wonder, he began, that these applauses 
are considered due to the praises of Mary : the Temple of the 
Lord's Flesh exceeds all praise. Still, the dignity of the Son 
of God ought not to be sacrificed to the honour of a crieature* 
To say that God was bom of Mary is to give a handle of unbe- 
lief to the Pagans : to say that God was joined to the Son of Mary 
is firm and impregnable ground. To affirm with him who had 
just spoken that Christ, Who was born of the Virgin, was 
neither purely God, nor purely man, was indeed a strange doc- 
trine. Surely the people of Constantinople were not inferior in 
theological knowledge to those of Antioch : surely they would 
not endure to be told, as they had jiist been, that " God was 
made a High Priest." The words of the Angels to the Apostles 
as they stood gazing after their ascended Lord were beyond all 

^ We must thus translate, unless we qf human passion He entered: without 
would rather read, i^edprws fiV^A^er, the suffering of human birth He came 
krraJB&f ^{^\0e, Without the corruption forth, 




[book II. 

controversy. This same Jesus j "Who was sn hungered^ Who 
died^ Who bore the Cross^ He shall so come in like manner 
as ye have seen Him go into Heaven. If the Quickener of 
all could die^ where is He That shall give life to us ? To confiise 
the Persons of our Lord is to put arms into the hands of the 
Arians : the Catholic Truth is far otherwise to be enunciated. 
He who inhabited the Temple is one thing ; the Temple which 
He inhabited^ another. It is the Lord's own declaration. 
Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it again. 
By Nature, then, Christ is Two : in so far as He is the Son, One. 
To confound this with Fhotinianism was a mistake unworthy of a 
serious confutation : it was the only doctrine by which the error 
of Photinus could be opposed. Answer not a fool according 
to his folly. The blandishments of eloquence, the popularity of 
a dogma, must never be suffered to stand in the way of diligence 
in examination, and the glory of Truth. 

There can be no doubt that this sermon was not without its 
effect : and Nestorius resolved on re-stating at greater length, 
Nestorius what he had then briefly touched. The three statements of 
s°Sodus. Proclus, that S. Mary is entitled to the name of Mother of God, — 
that God was made a High Priest, — ^that God suffered and died, — 
afforded Nestorius materisds for three elaborate sermons. They 
would appear to have been deUvered on the Saturday and Sunday 
following Easter, and on the next Sunday.^ In the first he endea- 
vours to explain how the term '^ Mother of God,*' may be used 
in an inoffensive sense, while he alleges that its employment 
may lead the way to heresy and blasphemy. " I have learnt,** 
he concludes, '^from Scripture that God passed through the 
Virgin Mother of Christ j that God was born of her, I have 
never learnt. Holy Scripture never asserts this ; — there we are 
told that Christ, that the Son, that the Lord, was bom of 

^ All that is known for certain is, 
that they were delivered in the three 
Synaxes immediately succeeding Easter. 
Now these took place on Saturdays, 
Sundays, and the Festivals of the Prin- 
cipal Martyrs. But there were none of 
the latter at that season ; the first two 
sermons were therefore probably pro- 
nounced at the earliest possible oppor- 

tunity, as we have stated; but the third, 
which was very numerously attended by 
the Mends of Nestorius, and looked for- 
ward to as his great effort, would there- 
fore most probably be reserved for the 
Sunday. Still Gramier's words are very 
true: ** vix definire licet, quo quisque 
die sermo sit dictus.'^ 



the Virgin. Let us all confess this ; for he that receives not 
the words of Scripture, when he has heard them, is wretched 
indeed. Rise, take the Child and His Mother, It is an 
Archangel that speaks. An Archangel^ may be supposed to be 
acquainted with the Incarnation better than yourself, jind he 
arose, and took the Child and His Mother. It saith not, he 
arose, and took God and His Mother.'^ And with this notably 
inapposite quotation, the sermon, as we now have it, abruptly 

The next sermon of Nestorius, founded on the text, '^ Con- 
sider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ 
Jesus,^^ vehemently attacked the statement of Proclus, that Gt>D 
was made a High Priest. It contains Uttle more attempt at 
argument than the stringing together of several passages which 
the author thought favourable to his views : and while, hke the 
preceding, it suppresses the name of Proclus, it freely deals out 
to him the charges of madness, of heresy, of evident opposition 
to Scripture. Finally, the third and most famous sermon con- 
tradicted the dogma of the Birth and Death of God. It com- 
mences by a statement of the opprobrium, under which Nesto- 
rius then laboured, — and for which he seized this opportunity 
of congratulating himself. "Nothing,^* says he, ''is more wretched 
than the state of that shepherd who boasts that he has received 
the praises of wolves. For, if he desired to please them, and 
chose to be loved by them, woe to his flock ! None can please 
at the same time sheep and wolves ; and therefore do I contemn 
the voices of those that reproach me, and employ against them 
the words of our Lord, 'Generation of vipers, how can ye, being 
evil, speak good things?' '^ Such language shewed that no com- 
promise was to be looked for : and the whole tenor of the 
discourse evinced the same thing. In its doctrine and its argu- 
ments it in no respect differed from those that had preceded it. 

It was probably with a view of strengthening his cause by 

1 The passage stands, in file Greek text read, from a comparison of the two, 

thus. AStti rStv orfyiXav ^ ^vfi, rAxa ASni rSov &Yy4\cov ^ ^«y^. Ta;^a ih 

S^ fiaK\6y aov. T& Karh r^y '^ivvr\(nv iiaKKov, K.r,\, The passage is only 

IjH^ffoy ol itpxdyy^Koi, Marius Mer- referred to, not quoted, in S. Cyril's 

cator translates, Hsec angelomm vox Contradictions, (torn. ii. 10, C. Ed. 

est> imo tua. Fortasse generationem Aubert, 1638). 
Ipsius noverat Archangelos. We would 

R 2 


spreading his dogma beyond his own Dioecese> that Nestorius 
dispersed copies of his sermons^ more especially of his first 
Homily, in all quarters. They by this means reached Egypt, 
and faUing into the hands of some Monastic bodies were read 
and received. Cyril had hitherto taken no active part in 
the controversy that was raging at Constantinople. But 
circ. April ^® ^^^ camc forward with a Letter to the monks, in which 
^' he stated and vindicated , the True Doctrine of the Incar- 

nation. We feel immediately that a new turn is given to 
the controversy. Cyril was an antagonist from whom Nes- 
torius must instinctively have shrunk. There is no laboured 
panoply of culled texts and adjusted quotations : the Bishop of 
Alexandria seems imbued with the whole analogy. of the. Faith, 
and evidently perceives, almost by instinct, that it and the new 
doctrine could not co-exist. And yet it would also appear that 
Cyril was not as yet fully awake to the danger with which the 
Church was threatened. For he speaks, in one passage, of the 
desirableness of leaving a question so difficult in the obscurity 
with which it had pleased God to After bringing 
forward the authority of Athanasius, for the term which Nesto- 
rius had condemned, he proceeds to argue against those who, 
from the silence of Nicsea, object to the word Theotocos. After 
reciting the Creed, without its Constantinopolitan. additions, he 
deduces &om that the orthodoxy of the coiumon belief as to the 
Incarnation. To call S. Mary the Mother of Christ, says he, is 
to bestow on her a term which, in a sense, might be apphed to 
others: as it is written. Touch not My Christs, and do. My 
Prophets no harm. He then dwells on the objection, that 
S. Mary was in no sense the Mother of the Divine Nature of 
our Lord; and proves that in consequence of the intimate 
union between the Two Natures, which, however, he in no way 
confounds, (and we may see Divine Providence in his cleiEu*ness, 
when we remember the heresy that was, at no great distance of 
time, to arise on this point,) what may be predicated of one may 
be, and in Holy Scripture frequently is, predicated of both. 
And from many passages both of the Old and New Testament^ 

^ The text« on which he principally xxxr. 4 ; xl. 10 : S. John x. 15 : He- 
dweUs, are — Psalm xlv. 7 ; cviii. 1 : brews iu. 1 : Philipp. ii. 6, 7. 
Hebrews i. 6 : S. Matt. xvii. 25 : Isa. 



the writer makes manifest^ that Christ was not a Deiferous 
Man, but Incarnate God. The concluding words of the Epistle 
were, in after times, perverted by the Monophysites to an here- 
tical meaning : but they contain in themselves nothing besides 
Truth.^ " Since then, according to nature. He is truly God 
and King, since we read expressly that they crucified the Lord 
of Glory, how can we doubt that the Holy Virgin is to be named 
the Mother of God ? Thou, therefore, adore Emmanuel as truly 
One, nor, after the conjunction once made, again sever Him 
into Two. Then the infatuated Jew will laugh in vain, then will 
he be manifestly guilty of the Death of the Lord : then he will 
be convicted of having sinned, not against a man like ourselves, 
but against God the Saviour of all. Then shall the words be 
fulfilled, — ^Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed 
of evil-doers, children that are corrupters : ye have forsaken the 
Lord, ye have provoked the Holy One of Israel to anger : ye are 
gone away backwards. Then shall the Gentiles in nowise be 
able to mock at the Christian Faith. They will acknowledge 
that it is to no miere man that we pay Divine honour: God 
forbid : but to Him That in His Nature is God, for we are not 
ignorant of His Glory. For though He was bom as we are, yet 
He remained that which He was, namely God.'^ 

A copy of this Epistle was forwarded by Cyril to his apocrisi- 
arii, or ecclesiastical agents, at Constantinople ^: and thus reached 
the hands of Nestorius. . It was well received by several of the 
most influential men in the government, and some even thanked 
the Patriarch by letters for his exertions in the cause. But 
Nestorius, while for some reason he did not think fit to reply 
himself, committed that task to one Photius, who was probably 
a Priest attached to the great church. That pamphlet has 
perished: though Cyril himself saw it. Not contented with 
this, Nestorius is accused of suborning certain Egyptians, who 
were then resident in Constantinople, and had been banished 
from Alexandria by Cyril on account of their immoralities, to 

* S. CyrU, Opp. v. iii. 17 B. accidentally carried to Constantinople, 

^ It is unworthy of the open charac- instead of being, as it was, industriously 

ter of Cyril that, in speaking of this distributed there. And this may be the 

Epistle to Pope Celestine, he should reason why Tillemont (Note xiv.) denies 

say, etrd rivcs Mjyayov iy rf Kwv- the correctness of tiie account of 

ffTavrwovir6\u rd Itra, as if it had been Gamier. 


present a memorial both to himself and to the Emperor against 
their Patriarchy accusing him to the one of ill administration of 
his Churchy to the other, of arrogating to himself Imperial 
powers in the civil government of his province. 

In the mean time, as the controversy was beginning to attract 
the attention of the whole East, S. Celestine, who then filled the 
Roman chair, received information of it from some quarter, of 
which we are ignorant. A Council (as was so frequently the 
case), was then sitting at Rome : and the Pope, in its name, 
lijl^^fter addressed a letter to Cyril, requesting information on the sub- 
aidcrfjSSe! ject. The Patriarch replied; and then, understanding that 
Nestorius was still continuing his efforts to injure him at Court, 
addressed his first letter to him, which is extant. In this he 
complains that Nestorius left no means imtried to injure him : 
that he had given no just ground for such proceedings : that he 
was impelled now to write, as well by his own desire to contend 
for the Faith, as by the Epistle he had received from P<^e 
Celestine, and by the general complaint of the Eastern Churches; 
that if a false statement of doctrine had been made by Nestorius, 
the recognition of one word, the JTieotocos, would restore ortho- 
doxy to himself, and peace to the Church, — ^that he himself was 
not then for the first time engaged in the controversy, having 
composed a treatise on the Incarnation before the ordination of 
Nestorius ; and that he was prepared to submit to imprisonment, 
exile, or death itself, rather than betray the truth once ddivered 
to the Saints. This letter was despatched to Constantinople by 
Lampon, a Presbyter of Alexandria, and the confidant of Cyril. 
circ. Aagu&t ^^ tcrms in which it is couched were by no means calculated 
to conciliate : and show somewhat of the same spirit which 
had led Cyril to the vehemence displayed by him in his youth. 
Nestorius, to a mere worldly eye, has a great advantage in his 
answer, which is extremely short. ^^The importunity of Lampon,^^ 
he writes, " has wrung from me these few Unes. I shall say 
nothing further than this : that though, in the Epistle of your 
brotherliness, there are many expressions which ill assort with 
Christian charity, yet, for the sake of that gentleness than which 
nothing is more mighty, I am resolved to persevere in my former 
relations of friendship, and not to be provoked to a rupture.^^ 
It is evident that Nestorius was playing the same game which 


Eusebius had employed with so much effect in the early part of 
the Pontificate of S. Athanasius^ and was determined to repre- 
sent the controversy as one about words^ and its origin as lying 
Bokly in the pertinacious dogmatism of the Bishop of Alexandria. 
Henceforward^ the two most powerful Sees of the East were in a 
state of open opposition^ and in the ruin of his rival consisted 
the only safety of either Nestorius or Cyril. 
The Patriarch of Constantinople resolved^ if possible^ to sup- Nestorius 

writes to 

port himsdf by the authority of the Roman Pontiff. He there- s. ceiesdne. 
fore addressed to him an Epistle on the subject of certain 
Pelagian Bishops^ then resident in Constantinople^ and subjoined 
three pamphlets^ — the first on the Incarnation: the second 
against the Arians and Macedoiiians : the third professedly 
against the Apollinarians^ but in reality against the Catholic 
doctrine. Nestorius^ however^ was attacked at the same time 
by Marias Mercator^ on the ground of the intimacy he main- 
tained with the Pelagians; and by several monks of Con- 
stantinople^ in which they complained of the hard usage to 
which they had been exposed^ on account of their defence of the 
TheotocoSf and demanded a Council. Complaints were openly 
heard of the conduct of Cyril^ that^ whereas he had shown him- 
self manifestly equal to supporting the controversy, he had 
hitherto taken no steps in his official character to overthrow 
Nestorianism. He excuses himself, in a brief reply, by observ- 
ing that himself, and all the Eastern Bishops, had, in fact, been 
anathematized by Nestorius, since all held Mary to be the 
Mother of God : and that to retort that anathema on those who 
should deny that title to her was a step which he and his 
Egyptian Synod had not thought it right, in the then juncture 
ai affairs, to take.^ But the eighteenth Paschal Homily, pub- a.d. 430. 
lished at the commencement of this year, dwells, as might be ^' 
expected, on the subject of the Incarnation, though it does not 
commence with that topic.^ , According to their usual custom 
the Synod of Alexandria assembled before Lent. S. Cyril, 
having now received the attacks made by Nestorius on Proclus, 
addressed a letter, in the name of his Coimcil, to that Patriarch. 

^ S. Cyril, Opp. v. ii. 230 B. vois rien de remarqualle sur Vlncar- 

' We cannot imagine how Tillemont nation^ 
can say (Note xiv.), Dana la 16, jene 



Letter to 


He commences by complaining of the injurious reports which 
had been circulated against him^ and leaves his iimocency to be 
vindicated by God: he proceeds to warn Nestorius of his errors^ 
to prove that he misunderstood the Nicene Creed, to explain the 
Incarnation of the Son of God, neither by the conversion of 
the Divinity into Flesh, nor into man, that is into Flesh and 
Soul, but by the hypostatical union of the Soul and the Flesh 
to God the Word : Who thus, in an inscrutable manner, became 
man, and is called the Son of Man. He proceeds to dwell on 
the two generations of Christ, from his Father, before all 
Worlds, from His Mother, in the world : he asserts that it was 
not by the infusion of the Word into a man previously con- 
ceived by the Blessed Virgin, that Christ became what He was; 
he explains in what maimer God may be said to have suffered, 
in what manner to have died, and to have risen again : in what 
manner the Humanity of Christ is to be adored : he affirms 
that the term Theotocos has the authority of the Fathers, and 
concludes as he began, with entreating Nestorius to acknowledge 
his error.^ 

Nestorius replied by an Epistle which evinces more talent 
than any of his other writings.^ He artfully confounds his use 
of the word God, with that of the word Divinity; and thus, 
by confusing the abstract with the concrete, is enabled to 
distort various passages of Scripture to his own meaning. He 
however, virtually at least, allows that Two Natures are united 
in one Person ^ : and praises Cyril for asserting this " true,^' as 
he calls it, ^'and orthodox ^^ dogma.* The end of this letter is 
remarkable. Nestorius praises the zeal of Cyril for preventing 
scandal, but tells him that he has been misled by the clergy of 
Constantinople, who entertained his sentiments, but were in- 
fected with Manichsean errors : that so far from the Byzantine 
Church being in any confusion or trouble, its state had never 

» S. Cyril, Ep. iv. torn. v. ii. 22. This 
Epistle was said at Chalcedon to have 
been written in the month Mechir : that 
is, between January 26 and February 24, 
and probably, as TiUemont observes, 
before Lent, as having been approved 
by the Septuagesimal Council. 

2 S. Cyril, Ep. v. torn. v. ii. 25. 

8 See the very learned note of Gar- 
nier, Mar. Merc. ii. 62. But it is clear 
that he means a moral, not a real union. 

tiaip€<nVy Kvrb. rhv rris *Ajf OponrSruiTos 
Koi 0€<Jtijtos \6yoVf Koi riiv ro^uv e/j 
ivhs 7rpo(Ti&irov avvdfp^iai^t fC.r.X. v. ii. 
27 A. 


been more flourishing^ — ^that, in particular^ the Court was well 
satisfied with all that had passed^ and concludes with an appli- 
cation to himself and his opponent of the text^ '^ David waxed 
stronger and stronger^ and the house of Saul waxed weaker and 
weaker. ^'^ 

In mentioning these " Manichsean '^ clerks^ who were un- 
doubtedly CathoUcSy as opposed to Pelagians^ Nestorius adds 
that they had been deposed^ and the Council in which this depo- 
sition^ whether just or unjust^ took place^ was probably held at 
Constantinople according to the usual custom^ enjoined by the 
Canons of Nicaea^ before the Lent of this year. 

By the same messenger to whose care he had entrusted his 
second Epistle to Nestorius, Cyril had also written to his apo- 
crisiarii, instructing them how to reply to the difficulties pro- 
posed by the Nestorians, — ^how to bring forward their own 
arguments, — ^and, above all, on what conditions to assent to a 
pacification.^ He had also addressed a letter to a common friend 
of Nestorius and himself (who has been supposed to be Acaciua 
of MeUtene) protesting that he was earnestly desirous of peace, 
so that it could be obtained only without injury to the Faith^; 
bat that he was resolved to suffer the extremest penalty before 
he would suffer that to be violated or attacked. 

In the mean time the See of Rome had not been idle. When 
Celestine had received from Nestorius the letters that we have 
already mentioned^ he lost no time in laying them before Leo, 
then Archdeacon of Rome, afterwards his more celebrated suc- 
cessor. By his advice the documents were entrusted to his 
intimate friend Cassian, to be translated into Latin and refuted. 
And a more suitable choice could hardly have been made. For, 
besides his skill in both languages, he had a particular affection 
for the Church of Constantinople, in which he had been ordained 
deacon by S. John Chrysostom. The result was the work of cassian's 

'' .... Treatise on 

Cassian on the Incarnation, divided into seven books, and con- 2*e incarna- 
taining a complete refutation of Nestorius, whom the writer 
frequently quotes, but never names. 

Having probably heard some report that such a work was in 
hand, Nestorius again addressed Celestine: in appearance on 
the subject of the Pelagians, but in reality with the intention 

* 2 Samuel, iii. 1. « Ep. viii a Ep. vu. 


of maknig good his own cause. This letter was entrusted to 
Yalerins, a patrician of reputation, and an active Mend of the 
Patriarch^s ; but the result, as will be seen, by no means answered 
the expectations of the writer. 

S. Cyril, finding that the account given by Nestorius of the 
favourable disposition of the Emperor towards his doctrine was 
not unfounded on fact, addressed two treatises to Theodosius, 
and his sister Fulcheria, who is since reckoned among the 
Saints. That Princess appears not to have shared in the 
general prepossession towards the Patriarch of Constantinople ; 
and doubtless her dislike to his tenets was str^ngdiened by the 
timely interference of Cyril. He, meanwhile, as soon as the 
Paschal Festivities were over, despatched an Alexandrian Dea- 
eon, by name Possidonius, to Rome : together with a confession 
of fidth, authorized by the Septuagesimal Synod, and contained 
coimdiof in a letter to Celestine.^ Possidonius was detained some weeks 
^»j _ in Borne, probably while Cassian was putting the finishing 
August. stroke to his work : at length, in the beginning of August, a 
Synod met in that city, where the Treatise on the Incarnation, 
Cyril's confession of faith, and the Epistle of Nestorius, were 
publicly read. The Synod resolved that the statements of Nes- 
torius vere heretical, that those of Cyril were consonant to the 
orthodox faith; that the Patriarch of Constantinople should be 
compelled, on pain of deposition, to subscribe the Alexandrian 
confession, on or before the tenth day after monition, — and that 
Cyril should take the proper means for notifying and carrying 
out the sentence. The Pope, in the name of the Council, wrote 
to Cyril, informing him of the province that had been assigned 
to him; to Nestorius, warning him even now to recant his 
error, and escape the severest penalty that the Church could 
pronounce : to the Clergy of Constantinople, exhorting them to 
stand fast in the faith : and to the Prelates of four of the prin- 
cipal Oriental Sees, John of Antioch, Juvenal of Jerusalem, 
Bufus of Thessalonica, and Flavian of Fhilippi, setting forth 
what had already been done, and the peril with which the Truth 
was menaced. These letters all bear the same date, August 11, 

^ It is curious to observe the mali- tine was flattered by the appeal, and 
cious ingenuity with which Gibbon the partial version of a monk decided 
twists this fact. ' < The vanity of Celes- the faith of the Pope, " &c viii. 287. 


Possidonius retnrned mth these documents to Alexandria, 
and having allowed himself a few days' rest in that place, pro- 
ceeded to Jerusalem and Antioch. To the Prelates of those 
Sees Cyril also wrote^ defending his own proceedings^ and 
acquainting them with his appointment as the Legate of Geles- 
tine^ to carry out the resolutions of the Roman Council. 
The result was a letter from John of Antioch to Nestorius^ 
advising him, but in vain, to retract. As soon as the s. cjrrii's^ 
unwearied Deacon had embarked, Cyril assembled the au- toNcBtonus: 

'' , Novembers. 

tumnal Synod, and, as its head, addressed his last and most 
celebrated letter to Nestorius, which was approved as it seems 
most probable on the third of November. None can justly ac- 
cuse Cyril of eagerness in procuring the downfall of his oppo- 
nents, but such as, to carry out their own preconceived hypothesis, 
dare to violate all truth, and to reject all testimony. The contro- 
versy had now lasted two years : the unity of the Church was 
endigered. Rome commi Jioned (had comLsion been needed) 
and the East requested Cyril to interfere : the rationalizing Ori- 
ental school was gathering strength, and every moment's delay 
was dangerous ; and yet, allowing a month for the voyage of 
the Deacon from Bome to Alexandria, the Patriarch delayed his 
final and decisive communication to Nestorius six weeks longer. 
The letter, which is of considerable length, contains the Creed 
of Nicsea, and an exposition of that part of it which concerns 
the Incarnation, — ^which exposition Nestorius was summoned 
to sign, as also to subscribe to twelve anathemas, proposed 
by Cyril, and directed against the errors of the new Constan- 
tinopoUtan school. These celebrated anathemas are in substance 
as follows : — 

1. If any shall assert that Emmanuel is not Very God, and 

consequently that His Blessed Mother is not the 

Mother of God: 
3. Or, that the Word is not hypostatically united to the 

Flesh, so as to be one Christ : 

3. Or, that the Union is not real, and more than a simple 

connexion of authority and power; thus, after that 
union, dividing the Lord into Two Hypostases : 

4. Or, that the things said of Christ in the Gospels, 

Epistles, or by Himself, are 'attributable to Two 
Persons or Hypostases : 



5. Or, that the Saviour was not True God, but a Man 

carrying or filled with the Divinity; whereas the 
Word being Incarnate was fellow-sharer with us in 
Flesh and Blood : 

6. Or, that the Word is the God or Lord of Christ; 

instead of confessing that after the Incarnation of the 
Word, One and the same is God and Man : 

7. Or, that the Man Jesus was energized by the operation 

of God the Word : 

8. Or, that the Man, assumed as an Habitation by God 

the Word, ought to be honoured, and glorified, and 
named God with Him, as being another from Him : 

9. Or, that Christ was enabled by the Spirit, as by a 

virtue alien from Himself, to do His mighty Works : 

10. Or, that our High Priest was not the Very Word of 

God; or, that in the Sacrifice offered for man, He 
offered also for Himself: 

11. Or, that the Saviour's Flesh is not Kfe-giving, as proper 

to the Word, but as belonging to another joined 
with the Word : 

12. Or, that the Word did not suffer, was not crucified, and 

did not rise according to the Flesh : 

Let him be Anathema.^ 

This Epistle was dispatched to Nestorius by four Egyptian 
Bishops,^ Theopemptus of Cabasa, Daniel of Dardanis, and 

^ The precise authority which the 
anathemas hold as an exposition of the 
teaching of the Church is expounded 
with even more than his usual ability 
byTillemonty Art. xl. It appears that 
the Council of Ephesus approved the 
writings of S. Cyril to Nestorius in 
general terms, — while the anathemas 
themselves were permitted to pass 
without comment in the mass, but not 
especially noticed; — that the feeling of 
many of the Fathers was very strong 
against them ; — that S. Gennadius 
wrote most strongly against them, and 
S. Proclus disapproved of them ; — ^that 
in the lifetime of Cyril they found no 
defenders but himself, Marius M creator. 

and perhaps Acadus of Melitene : that 
the Council of Chalcedon purposely 
omitted all mention of them ; that as 
late as the end of the fifth century they 
were held in doubtful reputation ; that 
however the fifth and sixth Councils 
expressly approved them ; that they 
were alleged by Pope S. Martin in the 
Council of Lateran against the Mono- 
thelites as authoritative ; — and that 
since that time they have generally been 
considered as part of the teaching of 
the Church. 

' Baronius, 430, L. makes Potamon 
and Macarius to have been priests only. 
This mistake is corrected by Gamier, 
Prsef. xix., and Pagi, 430. xi. 



Potamon and Macarius^^ whose sees are unknown. With it, 
Cyril despatched two others. The one is addressed^to the Clergy 
and people of Constantinople; in which, as upbraiding himself 
for the delay which had taken place/ he informs. them that the 
step was now taken which ought to have been made lopg before; 
that the authority of Celestine and of himself had denounced 
excommunication to the troubler of the faithful; and exhorts 
them^ whatever might happen, to stand firm, remembering the 
blessing promised to them that are persecuted for righteousness^ 
sake. The other is to the monks of the Imperial City, in which 
the Alexandrian Synod praise them for, and exhort them to 
maintain, their constancy. 

The Bishops sailed from Alexandria at the beginning of 
November, but contrary winds prevailing, they did not arrive 
at Constantinople till Friday, the. fifth of December. Thus 
they crossed, as we shall see, the mandate of the Emperor 
for the (Ecumenical Synod. On the following Sunday, at the Nestonus 
conclusion of the Liturgy, they followed Nestorius to the Bishop^s Dec. 7. 
palace, and there, in the presence of almost all. his Clergy, and 
a considerable number of laymen of . rank and . station, they 
delivered to him the anathemas.^ After receiving them, he pro- 
mised the Legates an audience on the following day ; but, on 

^ We know not whether this be the 
same Macarins onwhom the heresiarch 
Dioscoms composed a panegyric : 
Aaseman. Bibliothec. Orient, i. 619. 

^ There is a hot dispute as to the day 
on which the monition was delivered to 
Nestorias. Pagi endeayours to prove 
at length that they were received by 
him on Smiday, Nov. 30 : bnt we con- 
fess that his arguments 430, ziii., &c., 
do not appear to us capable of over- 
throwing those of Gamier. It is a 
point of no very great importance ; but 
the plain words of Mercator, Ejusdem 
sermo in Ecclesiie habitus postquam 
literas Celestini Romani Episcopi, et 
Cyrilli Alexandrini denunciationes ac- 
cepit viii. Id. Dec. post sextum diem, 
quam easdem literas accepit^must mean 
that he had received the letters on the 

6th| (7th,) and preached the sermon on 
the 13th of December .* however Pagi, 
and Baluze (Nov. Coll. Cone. 422,) may 
try, by inserting a parenthesis before 
post quam f and after accepitf to elicit 
another sense. One thing however, is 
clear, that the date Nov. 30, Indict, 
xiii. attached to the Synodical Epistle 
of S. Cynl, is not genuine : both be- 
cause Cyril always dates by the Egyp- 
tian, never by the Roman months : 
and because . according to the 
method of computation in use till the 
eleventh century/ the Indiction was 
ziv. not xiii : for till that period it 
always began in September. On this 
point also the History of Pelagianism 
by Cardinal Norisius (ii. 7.) may be 



[book II. 

Nestorius : 

pi^sentmg themselves for that purpose^ they were refused admit- 
tance. Nestorius, in the early part of the week, sent an express 
to John of Antioch, with a copy of the Epistle of S. Cyril. He 
appears to have mistrusted his own power of coping with such 
an antagonist, and he requested his friend and former Prelate to 
call on Theodoret and Andrew of Samosata for a reply. 

Theodoret had now attained considerable eminence. Bom at 
Antioch, he had been dedicated to Gtod from the cradle ; he had 
been the intimate friend of Nestorius and John of Antioch j and 
had now for about seven years been Bishop of Cyrus, in Syria, 
to which dignity he had been raised against his own will, as he 
preferred the quiet retreat of his monastery of Apamsea. He 
distinguished himself by his untiring zeal : his diocese had con- 
tained a great number of heretics, all of whom he was made the 
means of converting ; among others, he baptized ten thousand 
Mardonites. He wrote against both Pagans and heretics, and 
now, conceiving that the views of Cyril were Apollinarian, de- 
clared himself against them. 

Nor is it to be wondered at, that one so intimately connected 
with the Syrian rationalistic school should have entertained appre- 
hensions of the uncompromising tone of Cyril: or imagined that, 
to say the least, some balance of doctrine was needed in his state- 
ments. Andrew of Samosata, originally a monk of Constantinople, 
was of the same school and temperament as Theodoret; like him 
also in this, that, while his feeUngs and prejudices were on the 
side of Nestorius and the Asiatic teachers, he did not finally 
forfeit the Communion of the Church, 
coanca of Beforc the Legates could arrive at Constantinople, the Em- 
convoked: peror, by a rescript of the nineteenth of November, had, at the 
desire of both Catholics and Nestorians, convoked an (Ecumeni- 
cal Synod. Ephesus was fixed as the place : the approaching 
Pentecost as the time. The Bishops who were summoned by 
their metropolitans would thus be enabled to celebrate Easter 
with their flocks, before they began their journey to the place of 
meeting. It would appear that this " appeal to the Future 
Council,^' (as in later &ges it would have been called,) had the 
effect of suspending the execution of the sentence on Nestorius. 
With the summons to the Council, the Imperial messenger bore 
a private letter from Theodosius to Cyril. The emperor accused 


the Prelate of being the cause of the then troubles ; and re- 
buked him for having addressed separate letters to himself and 
the Princess Pulcheria^ as if there had been division in the Royal 
Family. To this letter Cyril thought it better to return no 
answer^ till the (Ecumenical Council should establish his 

Having secured the co-operation of his Eastern friends, Nes- 
torius, on the Saturday following his receipt of the anathemas, d®^- '»• 
delivered a sermon in the great church on the question. The 
Priest-Catechist had preached on the necessity and benefits of 
charity : and Nestorius, taking up the subject when he had left 
off, proceeded to complain, (though not expressly naming Cyril,) 
of the want of that virtue exhibited by the See of Alexandria 
in its dealings with Antioch and Constantinople. ^^ From it,^^ said 
the Patriarch, "Flavian andNectarius suffered: from it, Meletius, 
now reckoned among the Saints : from it he, whose holiness, in 
spite of their imwillingness, thou hast been compelled to own, 
John Chrysostom.^^ He then debates the question at great 
length, not without many inuendos against John of Antioch : 
and concludes by recommending moderation, on both sides, as 
to the use of words, so that Catholic virtues might be retained 
in deed. On the following day he again spoke, but very shortly, Dec. u. 
on the same subject ; and with that discourse, our collection of 
his sermons terminates. 

As winter passed on, S. Cyril employed himself in the com- 
position of three works : the first, his reply to Andrew of Samo- 
sata, whose work had been approved by a Council at Antioch ; 
the second, his answer to the treatise which Theodoret, as re- 
quested, had composed : the third, his answer to the Blasphe- 
mies of Nestorius. The controversy raged uninterruptedly at 
Constantinople : Nestorius replied to the twelve anathemas of 
S. Cyril by twelve counter anathemas, and Marius Mercator 
again answered these. 

With the approach of spring, preparations were made at 
Ephesus for the numerous body of expected Prelates : provisions 
were laid in, houses made ready : and the holy season of Lent 
drew on. 





A.D.431. As soon as the Fasclial Feasts were over, Nestorius and Cyril 
A.M.167. respectively set sail for Ephesus. The former was accompanied 
by ten of his Bishops, by a large body of private friends, among 
whom was Count Irenseus, and a snfiBicient number of slaves, 
who are said to have been armed : Count Candidian, the Empe- 
ror^s commissioner and captain of the Imperial Guard, also went 
with the Patriarch. On the other hand, Cyril was attended by 
fifty of his Bishops : but was not accompanied by any retinue. 
As the Dio&cese of Alexandria contained about one hundred Pre- 
lates, we may juc^e that' the Patriarch was unwilling to deprive 
the faithful of more than half their Pastors, lest the business of 
the Churches should be insufficiently carried on. 

Their voyage was prosperous as far as Bhodes : and thence 
Cyril wrote to his flock a short letter, expressive of his affection 
for them, and his desire to be remembered in their prayers. 
From Bhodes the Egyptian Prelates had a less favourable pas- 
HJuneaors. gagc : nor did they arrive at Ephesus tiU the Tuesday or Wed- 
nesday before Pentecost, which this year fell on the seventh of 
June. Nestorius was already there : Juvenal of Jerusalem 
arrived on the Friday after Pentecost; and the concourse of 
Bishops was very numerous. Cyril embraced the opportunity 
of again writing to his people. The Prelates, he assured them, 
were in good health, and eagerly expecting the opening of the 
Council: nor did they doubt that the Catholic Faith would 
prevail, to the consolation of the orthodox, and ike confusion 
of heresy. But " that wicked one, the sleepless beast, walked 
about plotting against the Glory of Christ ^" : his purposes 

Jane 12. 

^ These words have been by most 
historians taken to apply to Nestorius, 
and perhaps they might not untruly 
have been said of him; nor is the cha- 
racter of Cyril such as to make his 
use of them, in itself, unlikely. Ac- 
cordingly, h€Pc plane de Nestorio 

Cyrillus, says Baronius : de Jurori' 
bus Nestoriif writes Gamier, &c. 
Fleury says, more sensibly, On veut 
qu'il entende Nestorius i mats e'esi 
plutBt le demonf auteur de toutes Us 
heresies 1 quoiqu'il puisse aootr ffoulu 
marquer par cette ^igme les cabales 


however must fail^ since a Mightier than he confined him^ and 
overruled them. 

The fact that the Egyptian Bishops were well was of no 
trivial moment^ for the extreme heat of the weather was most 
prejudicial to the health of the assembled Prelates^ and had 
actually cost one or two their lives. The Fathers were extremely 
impatient of their long detention^ and it began to be whispered 
that something more than the mere length of the journey must 
detain John of Antioch and the Oriental Prelates of hisDioecese. 
On the 18th of June^ that Patriarch wrote to S. Cyril, acquaint- John of 
ing him with the hardships which he had undergone in a forced tSn'S^nceM 
march of thirty days. " Many of the Bishops,'^ says he, '' are approach. 
sorely afflicted from the difficulties of the journey, — and many 
of our beasts of burden have perished through long continuance 
of labour. Pray therefore for me that we may accomplish with- 
out inconvenience the five or six days which yet remain, and 
embrace with joy thy holy and reverend head.^ '' Alexander of 
Apamea and Alexander of Hierapolis were charged by the 
Patriarch to inform the Fathers of his near approach ; — and 
they again and again requested them, on his part, not to delay 
the opening of the Council. 

But during these delays, the Prelates were not idle. Various occupations 
conferences were held on the grand subject of controversy; and F»the«: 
S. Cyril found no more devoted adherent than Memnon, Bishop 
of Ephesus, — a Prelate whose personal character did not equal 
the orthodoxy of his sentiments. Among those who distinguished 
themselves by their eloquence in the sermons which were preached 
before the Fathers, S. Cyril stood conspicuous; though the 
vehemence of his expressions against Nestorius, who was, at all 
events, as yet uncondemned by the Church, can neither be 
justified nor excused.^ Acacius of Melitene and Theodotus of 

iu parti contraire. But that he means ' Labbe iii. 445. ^ 
primarily the devil is almost certain 

fromhis useof the well known diroi7}/>^f I ' C. 9. — OSrot 6 iitiKorAparos 

as well as from a comparison of the h ^hMr^/iiiffas rh \6ytov rov 6fov— — 

vfy^rt, yfnf^off^avr€, tri 6 ijrrl^ucos idwriia Mipx^v Kat atirxpoy^piis 

l/i&v 9idfioXoSt &s \4»» &fiu6iu^o», iMUflw ^bpdtfMi^os k€u^v, Koi iifittay 

wtpiwartT, of S. Peter, with the wtpifitfiXaifidtfot — etc. 
•w^pUpxvraiykp i iroimiphSf rh iLKoljAifroy 

enpiov of S. Cyril. 



they retolye 
to open the 

Ancyra also supported the True Doctrine^ though friends of 
Nestorius. He, meanwhile, after having so far yidded as to 
confess that the Blessed Virgin might, in a certain sense, be 
termed the Mother of Qod, so she were also confessed the 
Mother of Man, relapsed into worse than his former error, and 
persisted in declaring that he would never allow a Child of two 
months old to be God. 

Wearied out with the delays of John of Antioch, suspecting 
that he was purposely prolonging his journey, finding that other 
Prelates had already arrived &om a greater distance, and having 
already passed the prescribed time by fourteen days, S. Cyril 
and the greater part of the Prelates determined to open the 
Council on the twenty-second day of June^; and, on the pre^ 

^ We reserve for a note the much 
disputed question whether the Fathers 
of Ephesus, aotingf most undoubtedly, 
at the instigation of Cyril, were justi- 
fied in not waiting for the arrival of 
John of Antioch. Had they waited, 
the years of confusion which followed 
that Synod, nay, possibly the Great 
Schism itself, might have been avoided. 
Two excuses have been made for Cyril. 
The one, that the manifest delay of 
John proved that he wished to pro- 
crastinate the Council : the other, that 
the most clear-sighted of the Fathers 
were of opinion that much confusion 
would be avoided, and Truth more 
speedily triumph, by anticipating his 

As to the first argument, John was 
unable to leave Antioch till the 18th of 
May. The distance is computed at 
thirty days. But this reckoning of 
course applies to strong and accus- 
tomed travellers. Even thus, the 
Prelates could not have reached Ephe- 
sus till June 17. If the age of the 
Bishops, their inaptitude for travel, the 
heat of the weather, and the number of 
their company, be taken into conside- 
ration, to say nothing of the time 
which the celebration of the Divine 
Offices demanded, (even supposing 
that the Prelates did not altogether 

rest on the Sunday,) and the detention 
which John must have experienced in 
passing through his own Dioeoeae,— 
we may conclude that he not only did 
not delay, but must have used g^reat 
diligence to arrive when he did. It is 
true that Bishops more remotely situ- 
ated than John, arrived at Epbesos 
before him ; but then he was obliged to 
wait for some of his Prelates, whose 
Sees were situated twelve days' journey 
jfiirtber than Antioch. The Patriarch 
in his apology to the Emperor requests 
him, by inquiry on the spot, to satisfy 
himself that his statement of the dUi- 
genoe he had employed was true. 
Evagrius, though utterly opposed to 
Nestorius, says,*IflM£yvi|f . . . . dvc^ct^Ag 
rris SpurOtiffTis ^fJt^pas o(rrt ^Kc»y, &s 
iroWois ktroXoyoinnvos Zmtu («. e., at 
M the optfiton <^ rnany, on hHtrimg 
his dqfencct if the reading be genuine). 
H. E. i. 3, and Valesius's note. If 
it be urged that John himself re- 
quested the Council not to suspend 
their operations on account of his ab- 
sence, it may well be answered that he 
apparentiy contemplated merely the 
formal opening of the Sjrnod, and 
periiaps the production of proofs and 
witnesses against Nestorius : not his 
final condemnation. 

Again, — If John were reaUy anxious 


ceding mornings they signified, by four Bishops, their resolution to 
Nestorius. He, with sevenPrelates who happened to be with him. Protest of 
replied, that he should come or not come^ as he should judge of Nestoriug, 
expedient. He then went to Memnon, and demanded the church 
of S. John for himself and those of his party ; the Council being 
in possession of that of S. Mary. Memnon^ very properly, 
refused: and the inhabitants of Ephesus were loud in their 
approbation of his conduct. That day was employed by the ^^^^ ^^ 
Constantinopolitan faction in procuring signatures to a protest 
against the opening of the Council, previously to the appearance 
of John. It was signed by sixty-eight of the Fathers; but 
produced no impression on the majority of the CouncH. 

The next day, the Imperial Commissioner, Candidian^ hearing e^^^i^^^n 
that Cyril and his partizans were already assembled in the ^^^ ^* 
church o{ 8, Mary, hastened thither, and represented to them 
that his iQstructions forbade any secret or partial meeting of 
the Bishops, and expressly ordered that whatever was concluded 
on should be decided by common consent and in full Council. 
Cyril demanded to see the CommiMion, and after much hesita- 
tion on the part of the Courtier, it was produced. On being 
read^ however^ it was found to be totally irrelevant to the present 
question: merely ordering Cmididian to be present, without 
a deliberative voice^ at the Council, and to make arrangements 
for the decent order and uninterrupted quiet of the ddiberation. 
The Fathers therefore declared themselves resolved to proceed : 
Candidian earnestly requested a delay of but four days ; and 

for the acquittal of Nestoriusi prudence those anathemas he conceived, and 
would have suggested the necessity of rightly conceived, the truth to he in- 
concluding the whole matter before the volved ; he feared that the influence of 
arrival of the Roman Legates, who the Orientals might procure their re- 
were known to be ill-disposed towards jection ; by anticipating their arrival 
the heretic. As to the suggestion that he bethought that he discovered an easy 
was desirous of seeing Nestorius irre- method of escape from the di£ScuIty ; 
gnlarly deposed by Cyril, of then, ibr and, through a momentary weakness of 
that very irregularity, deposing Cyril, faith, instead of trusting the matter 
and of thus himself presiding in an entirely into God's hands, he preferred 
(Ecumenical Council, it is too absurd to make use of a stratagem, which a 
to be for a moment entertained. more simple trust in Providence would 
We must therefore rest satisfied with have rejected. That the lault brought 
tlie second excuse, such as it is. Cyril its own punishment in the confusions 
knew that John was opposed to the that ensued, is but too plain, 
twelve anathemas : in the approval of 

s 2 


when this was denied hini^he retired in anger^ and despatched a 
protest the same day to Constantinople. 
The coancfl On the departure of the Commissioner^ the Prelates took their 
sesBion I.' places ; the book of the (jospels being open in the Episcopal 
Throne^ to signify the Presence of Christ^ and the Bishops 
being arranged on either side of the church. They were one 
hundred and fifty-eight in number^ besides Bessula^ a deacon of 
Carthage^ who represented the African Church. 

Cyril presided, both by virtue of his own dignity, and as 
Legate of Pope Celestin; Juvenal of Jerusalem was next in 
honour ; then Memnon of Ephesus ; and affcer him Flavian of 
PhiUppi, who appeared for Bufiis of Thessalonica. There were 
also six other MetropoUtans. 

When all were seated, Peter, an Alexandrian Priest, and chief 
notary, briefly stated the cause for which the Council was sum- 
moned ; and on JuvenaPs demand, the imperial edict convening 
it was read. Memnon of Ephesus reminded the Prelates that 
sixteen days had elapsed since the period fixed for the first Session; 
and Cyril pronounced it to be his opinion that the Council had 
now waited with sufiBicient patience for the Bishops not yet 
arrived. This being the general sentiment of the Fathers, 
Theodotus of Ancyra inquired why Nestorius was not present. 
The Bishops who had carried the citation on the preceding day 
gave an account of their proceedings, and mentioned the un- 
satisfactory reply which they had received. A second and third 
deputation, the first consisting of threeBishops, the second of four, 
were sent with a written citation to Nestorius : they found his 
house surrounded by soldiers, and could onlyobtain the reply, that 
when the Council was fully assembled, by the arrival of John of 
Antioch, he would appear before it. The defendant had thus 
been, as the Canons ordered, three times admonished; Juvenal 
expressed his perfect willingness to do so a fourth time, but said 
that as they had no occasion to expect any happier result, the 
next thing, in his opinion, was to examine the question of faith. 
The Creed of Nicseawas first read, and then the second letter of 
S. Cyril to Nestorius. Cyril, when it was finished, said, " You 
have heard my letter : I believe it not to be at variance with the 
Faith of Nicsea ; if your opinions are diflerent, say so.'' Juvenal 
of Jerusalem, the metropolitans, and a hundred and twenty 


of the Bishops^ severally declared their adherence to the doctrine 
of S. Cyril j and the rest of the Council expressed its con- 
currence by acclamation. The second letter of Nestorius was 
then read : when it was finished^ Juvenal said, " This epistle 
is at variance with the Faith of Nicsea : anathema to them that 
hold its doctrine." The Metropolitans briefly agreed with him. 
Acacius of Mehtene was the only one who spoke at length : he 
observed that the writer of that Epistle attributed the Birth and 
Passion of our Lord to His Humanity only, and therefore in 
effect destroyed the real Unity of God the Son with our flesh. 
When about thirty Bishops had expressed the same sentiments, 
the whole Council burst out in different cries, all tending to the 
same effect: " Anathema to the heretic Nestorius I Anathema to 
the doctrine of Nestorius 1 Anathema to him that will not 
anathematize Nestorius I^' There was then a call for the letter 
of Celestin to Nestorius; a Greek translation of which was 
read; and it was followed by the third epistle of 8. Cyril, that 
which contained the threat of excommunication if Nestorius 
did not retract within ten days, and the twelve anathemiEis. The 
Bishops who had been charged with the delivery of these letters 
proved that they had been given to Nestorius in the presence of 
all his clergy, after he had celebrated the Holy Eucharist on a 
Sunday in his Cathedral; but that so far from retracting his 
doctrine, he had, in his subsequent sermons, re-stated and 
enforced it. 

Two of his intimate friends, Acacius and Theodotus, were 
examined as to whether any change had appeared in his senti- 
ments since his arrival at Ephesus. They professed that, how- 
ever dear Nestorius was to them, the Faith of Christ was 
dearer ; and their testimony clearly showed, that he had not, in 
the smallest degree, retracted, on the contrary that, by his blas- 
phemous expression concerning a God of two months old, he 
had ampUfied and strengthened his heresy. Extracts were next 
read by the notary on the subject of the Incarnation, from S. 
Peter of Alexandria, S. Athanasius, SS. Julius and Felix of Rome, 
Theophilus of Alexandria, S. Cyprian, S. Ambrose, S. Basil, S. 
Gregory Nazianzen, S. Gregory Nyssen, S. Amphilochius of 
Iconium, S. Atticus of Constantinople, — ^twelve Fathers in all, 
of whom one only, Theophilus, is not reckoned among the Saints^ 


Twenty articles, extracted from the writings of Ncstorius, were 
also produced. A letter from Capreolus of Carthage, brought 
by his deacon Bessula, was then read : in it he excused his own 
and fellow Bishops' absence, on the grounds of shortness of 
notice, and the desolate state of Africa j mentioned that S. 
Augustine who, on account of his reputation, had been specially 
summoned to the Council, had been called to his rest ; and 
prayed the Fathers to maintain the Catholic Faith against all 
novelties whatsoever. 

Sentence was then pronounced against Nestorius to the fol- 
lowing effect : — ^Forasmuch as Nestorius hath refused to obey our 
citation, and declined to receive the Bishops whom we charged 
with it, we have thought it necessary to examine his dogmas ; and 
having proved both by his letters and sermons, as well as his 
conversations in this city, that he holds and teaches heresy, we 
are compelled by the Canons and by the letter of our most holy 
Father and colleague, Celestin, Bishop of the Roman Church, 
to pronounce with tears this grievous sentence: Our Lord 
Jesus Christ, Whom he hath blasphemed, declares by this 
holy Council that he is deprived of all Episcopal dignity, and 
excommunicate from every Ecclesiastical Assembly. 

This sentence was subscribed by Cyril, Juvenal, and all the 
Bishops then present ; others, to the number of forty, accident- 
ally absent, or not yet arrived in Ephesus, afterwards attached 
their names to it. 

Thus ended the First Session. It had opened at an early hour, 
and night had now shut in, although it was one of the longest 
days. On issuing from the Church, the Bishops found aa 
immense multitude collected at the door to learn the sentence. 
It was received with expressions of great joy : the men con- 
ducted the Fathers by torchlight to their several lodgings, 
the women went before them with perfumes, and the city was 
generally illuminated. 

On the following day the sentence was communicated to 
Nestorius, and affixed to the principal public places. At the 
same time the guardian and treasurer of the Church of Constan- 
tinople were informed of the deposition of their Bishop, and 
desired to take the same charge of the sacred property that 
they would do in case of a vacancy. S. Cyril also took the 


oppoittmity of Writmg to those whom he knew to be the 
wannert and most influential supporters of the truth in the 
Lnperial City. 

Nestorius and Candidian^ for their parts, drew up a memorial 
to the Emperor, complaining of the excesses and violences of the 
Council, accusing Memnon as the principal author of the dis- 
turbances, and requesting that the Synod, which they treated as 
not haying yet commenced, might be held agreeably to the 
Canons : that none but Bishops should be admitted thereto ; 
that but two Frektea should accompany each Metropolitan; 
and that the confusion attendant on a large and tumultuous 
assembly might thus be obviated. It is easy to see that the last 
requisition, however plausible in itself, was directed against 
Alexandria, that See, as we have observed, possessing no Metro- 
politan, except the Catholic of Abyssinia.^ 

The Acts of the Council were some, time in preparation for 
the Emperor's eye : and the opposite faction were thus enabled 
to present their own account first. The Acts had not only to 
be transcribed from the short-hand of the notaries, and fomished 
with the necessary apparatus of documents, (no inconsiderable 
task in itself, since the matter thus brought together exceeds in 
size the present volume,) but the whole was confessedly subjected 
to the revision of Cyril. He, no doubt, omitted such parts as were 
irrelevant to the matter in hand, such as the protest of Candi- 
dian : and, it is probable, such also as, in his judgment, made 
against himself. It is impossible but that something must have 
been said on the subject of the anathemas ; and we have reason 
to believe that the feehng of many of the Bishops was strong 
against them* It is hardly likely that not one of the 
Prelates raised his voice in favour of Nestorius. We must re^ 
member, however, that such alterations, however much they may 
impair to us the value of the original documents, were cer- 
tainly not regarded by contemporaries as necessarily unfair. No 
doubt it was necessary to subject the genuine Acts to a revision: 
much, in the heat of the moment, might be said, which the 
speakers would afterwards regret having spoken, and be ex- 

* Henry, (vi. 85,) by a pardonable di metropolitaiiu sous le Fatriarohe 
inaccuraey, says, '* car il y atait pmt d'Alexaadrie.'' 


tremely sorry to have entered upon record ; there must neces-* 
sarilyhave been much repetition^ and much that would bear 
compression. The comphunts^ therefore^ that have been raised 
against any alteration are evidently out of place : and on the 
question whether S. Cyril took any unfair advantage of the trust 
committed to him^ we conceive that there are not data to decide. 

Jan* 87. On the fifth day after the Council^ John of Antioch arrived, 

accompanied by about fifteen of his Bishops. It appears that 
he had received information of what had been done from Count 
Irenseus^ who had left Ephesus for that purpose. The Council, 
having heard that the Patriarch was entering the suburbs^ de- 
puted several Bishops and Priests as his escort into the city : 
but the soldiers by whom he was surrounded would not permit 
them to approach him. Immediately after arriving at his lodg- 
ings^ without giving himself time to make any change in his 
garments^ and covered with dust as he was^ he held a Council 
of the Prelates whom he had brought with him^ and of those 
of his faction who were already in Ephesus. 

At this disorderly asseioibly^ convened in a private room^ sum- 
moned by no lawful authority^ the fraction of a schism^ without 
citation, examination, witness, or lawful judge, Cynl and Mem- 
non were deposed. During all this time, the deputies of the 
genuine Council were in waiting at the door : they were then 
admitted, and allowed to give their message. They received, 
however, no other answer than blows, which were inflicted on 
them, in the veiy sight of John, by Ireneeus and the soldiers. 
Escaping to the Synod, they exposed the marks of the ill treat- 
ment they had received, and in the presence of the Holy Gospels 
related what had passed. On this, the Fathers separated John 
from their Communion, till he should make reparation for the 
outrage at which he had connived. At this time the sentence 
i^ainst Cyril and Memnon was not known : for, though sub- 
scribed by forty-three Bishops, it was not published in the city, 
but privately sent to the Court as the Act of the True Council. 
In the mean time the legates Arcadius and Projectus, Bishops, 
and Philip, Priest, arrived from Rome ; and the Second Session 

sesticmii. of the Couucil was forthwith held. The proceedings were opened 

^^ ^' by the Priest, Philip, who demanded that the letter of Cdestin 

to the Council, with which they were charged, should be read 


and inserted in the Acts. Celestin^ though by no means failing 
to support the dignity of the Chair of S. Peter, yet freely ac- 
knowledged in this Epistle, that there must be a concordance of 
the various Bishops of the Church for the preservation of the 
precious deposit of Divine Truth : he allowed that the charge of 
teaching was equally given to all Bishops ; and exhorted them 
by their sound deUberations to maintain the reputation of 
that city where S. Paul had preached the Grospel, and S. John 
founded the Church. The Council loudly expressed its appro- 
bation, " Praise to Celestin, another Paul ! to Cyril, another 
Paul ! One Celestin, one Cyril, one Faith of the Council, one 
Faith over the whole earth V^ 

The Legates were then formally acquainted with the anterior 
proceedings: the Acts were laid at their disposal; and tfie 
Second Session thus terminated. 

On the following day, the eleventh of July, the Fathers again session ni. 
assembled ; the Legates declared their perfect accordance with 
the determination of the Council, and their approbation of the 
Canonical method of their procedures. The whole of the Acts 
of the First Session were theii proformA read, and the Legate, 
Philip, after dwelling on the Primacy of S. Peter's Chair, then 
speaking by himself and his fellow Legates, announced his 
assent and consent to them; the two other Legates did the 
same, and at the request of S. Cyril, all three subscribed the 
sentence of the deposition of Nestorius. Synodal letters were 
written to the Emperor, and to the Clergy and People of Con- 

Five days afterwards, the Fourth Session was held. As the session iv. 
business was peculiarly connected with S. Cyril, Peter, the ^ 
notary, as a member of the Church of Alexandria, abstained 
from conducting the proceedings, as before : but Hesychius/ a 
Deacon of Jerusalem, informed the Council, that the most holy 
Bishops of Alexandria and Ephesus wished to present a memo* 
rial, which they held in their hand. Juvenal of Jerusalem de- 
sired that it might be read. 

It set forth the uncanonical proceedings of the Council held 
by John of Antioch ; the deposition of Cyril and Memnon with- 
out citation, or opportunity of defending themselves ; the bad 
character of the Bishops who had pronounced it, some of them 



having even been deposed; and finaUy conjured the Conncil to 
oblige John of Antioch to appear before them in person^ and 
there to give account of himself and of his proceedings. Acacius 
remarked^that the idea of any Council then assembled in Ephe- 
sus^ except the Catholic Council at which he was assisting^ was 
perfectly absurd^ and ihat^ for his own part, the request «f 
Memnon and Cyril seemed superfluous; as^ homem, they 
thought otherwise, he proposed that Jdm of Antioch should be 
forthwith summoned by three Bishops whom he named. The 
deputies went as they were desired; and on their return in- 
formed the Council that, when arrived at the lodging of John, 
they were refused admittance by soldiers who were posted at the 
door : that when their errand was known, they were insulted, 
ill-treated, and had, not without danger, escaped the swords of 
the military, and the stones of the populace. A second citation 
was made with as httle effect ; and the Council then declared, 
that as John had not appeared to defend his own proceedings, 
they were null and void. 

On the following day, S. Cyril complained that the schismati- 
cal party had published a paper derogatory to the Council, and 
accusing its members of Apollinarianism : he therefore desired 
that John should be a third time cited to answer for all these 
violences. The citation was again carried by three Bishops, who 
reported that on approaching th6 house of John, the clerks who 
surrounded it began, as usual, to insult them, but were restrained 
by the soldiers, who, it appears, were acquainted with the person 
of Commodus, one of the Legates, as having been posted in his 
See, Tripolis^ of Lydia. That the Archdeacon of Nestorius, on 
hearing their errand, gave them a paper as from his own Coun- 
cil ; and on their refosal to accept it, declined all farther com- 
munication. On hearing this account, the Council pronounced 
John of Antioch, and his accomphces, to the number of thirty- 
five in all, excommunicate, and concluded the Fifth Session with 
subscribing the sentence, of which information was given as 
before to the court of Constantinople, as also to S. Celestin. It 

^ Situated near the Mseander, and agahut the opening of the Council till 
now in mins. Commodus was one of the arriral of the Orientals, 
the Bishops who had signed the protest 


ia remarkable that in the signatures Juvenal of Jerusalem^ who 
seems to have presided on this and the former Session^ sub* 
scribes before the Roman Legates. 

The Sixth Session was taken up by matters of general import* sewum yi. 
ance : principally by the condemnation of an erroneous formula 
of Faith^ to which some converted Asiatic heretics had been 
compelled to subscribcj and the proposition of an explanation of 
the Creed of Nicsea. It was decreed^ in tiie Seventh and last seMion vii. 
Session, that the bounds of the jurisdictions of Metropolitan 
should remain as they were ; a complaint having been made 
by the Bishops of Cyprus that the See of Antioch had usurped, 
of late years, the authority of ordaining in that island. As John 
of Antioch was not present to defend the rights of his own see, 
the Council guardedly decreed, that if the assertions of the 
Cyprian Bishops were true, they should remain, as in time past, 
free. The fact was, that the claims of Antioch in this instance 
were well founded. 

Thus the dehberations of the Council ended : but its troubles 
were yet to begin. The Count John arrived from Constantino- 
pie as the Emperor's Commissioner, and gave orders that the 
Bishops of both parties should appear on the foUowing day at 
the house where he was lodged. The animosity between them 
was so great, that he considered it necessary to post a body of 
troops between the quarters of the two factions. On the next 
morning, Nestorius came first before the Commissioner; shortly 
afterwards John of Antioch and his followers; and lastly S. 
Cyril, with all the Catholic Bishops, except Memnon. The 
greater part of the day was spent in a series of useless disputes. 
The Catholics would do nothing while Nestorius, nor the sdiis- 
matics while Cyril was present. The Count John at length, but 
not until evening, settled the matter, by obliging both of those 
Prelates to retire. To the rest of the Bishops he then read the 
Emperor's letter, which was so drawn up, as if both the false 
and the true Coimcil were the same Assembly to which the acts 
of both were to be attributed, and was addressed to Pope Celestin, 
and to Bufus of Thessalonica, neither of whom were personally 
present. Its purport was that the deposition of Nestorius, of 
Cyril, and of Memnon, met with the approbation of the Emperor. 
The schismatics were overjoyed at this result; the Catholics as 


much depressed^ and John^ to avoid a popular tumult, arrested 
the three Bishops in question, committing them to proper 
guards. After this act, and attending prayers in the great 
church, the Commissioner gave a report of his proceedings in a 
letter to the Emperor ; and with this went a strong remon- 
strance from Juvenal of Jerusalem, and the other Bishops who 
had assisted at the genuine Council : and who now exerted 
themselves in every way, both by fresh epistles to the Emperor, 
and by addressing the Bishops who then happened to be in 
Constantinople, to set their cause in its right point of view. So 
great was the prejudice excited against S. Cyril, that even S. 
Isidore of Felusium, whose locaUty would naturally render him 
favourable to Alexandria, thought necessary to exhort him not 
to follow the bad example, and to be sharer in the violence, of 
his uncle Theophilus. 

During the whole of these negociations, S. Cyril was in consi- 
derable danger. He was strictly guarded by the soldiers ap- 
pointed for that purpose, who even slept at the door of his 
chamber : nor could he be certain that any moment might not 
bring the Emperor's sentence for his banishment into some 
inhospitable region, where he could never more in this world 
hope for justice, nor for a return to the possession of his own 

It is not our intention to pursue with minuteness the tedious 
course of negociations which followed the Council of Ephesus. 
The Cathohcs of Constantinople manfully exerted themselves for 
their distressed brethren: and the Abbats and Monks were 
more particularly distinguished by the freedom with which they 
addressed Theodosius. 

At length, in the month of August, the Emperor desired that 
a deputation from each of the Councils should wait on him. 
Both parties obeyed : and eight Commissioners were sent from 
each : on the Catholic side, Juvenal and Aeacius, with the legate 
Fhihp, possessed the greatest influence; in the party of the 
schismatics, John of Antioch, and Theodoret. The instructions 
given to the former were carefully to avoid all commimion with 
John of Antioch and his followers, at least until they had sub- 
scribed to the deposition of Nestorius, anathematized his doc- 
trine, and asked pardon of the Council ; they were also charged 


with a letter of thanks to the Bishops at Constantinople, com- 
mending their zeal for the Council, and requesting them not to 
relax their efforts in its behalf. The instructions t)f the 
schismatics were far more general; the only point in which 
their deputies were restricted, was the forbidding them, on any 
pretext, to agree to the twelve anathemas of S. Cyril. This 
Father, in the meantime, employed himself in drawing up a 
defence of his anathemas, in which he shows that they are free 
from any taint of the heresies which were attributed to them, 
and exerts himself to reconcile the Oriental Prelates to himself 
and to his writings. 

As soon as the Commissioners were on their journey, Nesto- 
rius was banished by the Emperor from Ephesus, with a per- 
mission, however, to go where he chose. This came to the know- 
ledge of the deputies on their arrival at Chalcedon, for they were 
not permitted to cross the strait ; and was a severe blow to the 
hopes of John of Antioch and of his party. On the fourth of 
September, both parties had an audience of Theodosius: in 
which, while nothing definite was settled, the schismatics ob- 
taiaed the grant of a church, while they should remain at Chal- 
cedon. The deputies on both sides wrote to their respective 
Councils, and gave such accounts as might raise the hopes of 
their friends. 

Theodoret preached more than once to the assembled deputies 
of his party, and was attended by a number of the inhabitants 
of Constantinople, whom the fame of his eloquence attracted 
across the strait. He expresses, in the fragments we possess, 
horror at the thought of a passible God ; not distinguishing, or 
not choosing to distinguish, between this expression, and belief 
that the Divinity was passible. But he had the better grounds 
for his mistake, if, as is reported, Acacius of Melitene, one of 
the deputies, had advanced the latter proposition. He also 
speaks of Nestorius as the legitimate pastor of Constantinople, 
and expresses his firm beUef that, at no distant period, he would 
be restored to that dignity. 

At length, after five audiences, in which the Catholics confined 
themselves strictly to the facts of the case, and much to the 
chagrin of their opponents, would not dispute on points of doc- 
trine, the Emperor announced his final determination in a letter 

Oct. so. 


to the Council. While expressly forbearing to condemn the 
Orientalsj he ordered the Bishops^ including Memnon and Cyril^ 
to return to their own Dioecese^ and exhorted them to cultivate 
peace to the utmost of their abiUty. At this result, confirming 
in fact the deposition of Nestorius, the schismatical dq>utie8 
were frantic with disappointment. They despatdied memorial 
after memorial to Theodosius ; they conjured him to alter his 
judgment; they protested that they shook off the dust of their 
feet against him, and were clear from his blood. But their 
threats and lamentations were to no purpose; and their only 
remaining consolation was to vilify the character of Cyril in the 
last letter which they addressed to their friends at Ephesus. 
The Cathohc deputies and Bishops at Constantinople proceeded 
to the election of another Biahop for that See, and consecrated 
Maximian, who had greatly distinguished himself by his efforts 
in behalf of the Council, to the dignity.^ In the meantime S. 
Cyril returned in triumph to Alexandria, which he reached on 
the thirtieth of October, after an absence of rather more than 
half a year. It is said by his enemies that he did not wait for 
the Emperor's permission, but escaped from his guards before 
his final acquittal had been pronounced. 



The Sees of Antioch and Alexandria were now out of Commu- 
nion, and John, during and on his return to the former, again 
deposed, in two separate Councils, S. Cyril, and the seven Bishops 
who had assisted in the consecration of Maximian. The latter, on 
the other hand, in a letter to the Archbishop of Alexandria, gave 
him the highest praise. ''Thy desire," — so he wrote, — ''0 
Servant of God, is fulfilled : thy labours for the cause of the 
Faith accomplished : the wishes of thy piety brought to a close : 
thou hast been made a spectacle to Angels and to men, and to 
all the Priests of Christ. Thou hast not only beheved in 
Christ, but hast borne for Him all kind of ills. Thou alone hast 

1 Socrat, H. E. vii. 35. And see Pagi, 431. xzxvii 


been accounted worthy to bear His marks on thy body. Thou 
hast merited to confess Him before men, that He might confess 
thee before the FathbRj in the Presence of the Angels. Thou 
hast been able to do all things in Chbibt, Which strengthened 
thee : thou hast overcome Satan through patience : thou hast 
despised torments : thou hast trampled on the fury of rulers : 
thou hast counted hunger to be nothing, because thou didst 
possess that Bread which, coming down from Heav^ imparteth 
Celestial Life to men^^' And S. Celestin, a few months later 
writing to the clergy and people of Constantinople, speaks as 
strongly: ^^In no work of an Apostle,'^ says he, ''was that 
apostolic man wanting: he conjured, he admonished, he 
rebuked/' And comfort like this Cyril needed. The whole 
of the East was in the greatest confusion : and it was a happy 
circumstance that four out of the five great Sees remained firm 
to the True Faith. The Prelates, ordained in the place of Nes- 
torian Bishops, were not everywhere favourably received,* in 
some places they had to call in the secular arm, in others they 
could not establish themselves at all. Theodosius consulted 
Maximian, and a few other Bishops, of whom some were, it 
would appear, the Deputies from the Council, as to the best 
means of restoring unity. They all agreed that John of Antioch 
must approve of the deposition, and anathematize the doctrine 
of Nestorius ; and that Cyril must forgive what had passed at 
Ephesus. There was a plan proposed, for the meeting of the ^'^* ^^^' 
two, in the Emperor's presence at Nicomedia; but it was dropped, 
on account of the repugnance which John felt towards it. There 
was, however, a Coimcil holden at Antioch, in which six propo- 
sitions were drawn up, which S. Cyril was required to sign as a 
preliminary step to union. We know not what they were, 
further than may be gathered from Cyril's reply. '' He could 
not," he said, ''retract what he had written previously to the 
Council ; he was ready to declare the sufficiency of the Creed of 
Nic8Ba, only i^ainst those who explained it heretically its true 
meaning must be boldly stated ; that he was p^ectly willing to 
forgive all the insults he had himself received, but that the See 
of Antioch must anathematize the heresy of Nestorius : he repu- 
diated the doctrines of Arius and ApoUinaris; he held the* 

1 Labbe,iiil06l. 


Divine Word to be Impassible; he acknowledged that the 
Saviour's Body was informed by a reasonable Sonl^ and he 
promised^ when peace should be restored^ to give full satisfiustion 
on the subject of the twelve anathemas. 

The reception of this letter was different among the Eastern 
Bishops, as their tempers or prejudices varied. But John of 
Antiochj the most important among all, thought that it afforded 
a ground for reconciliation. He despatched Paul of Emesa to 
Alexandria, with a Confession of Faith, and a letter, in which he 
stated his personal friendship for Cyril, his longing for peace, 
his ardent hope that the anathemas would be given up, and his 
joy that they had a common ground on which to argue, namely, 
the letter of S. Athanasius to Epictetus on the Incarnation.^ 
This treatise was much insisted on by Paul, until Cyril by a 
reference to the original copy, preserved in the archives of Alex- 
andria, proved that it had been altered by heretics. Indeed he 
was by^no means satisfied with this communication, though con- 
fessing the orthodoxy of the Creed of John. Far from being an 
apology for the past, it was rather, he said, a new offence. Paul, 
who was well skilled in negociations,used all his efforts to persuade 
him that this was not the case ; he, however, could hardly pre- 
vail on the Bishop of Alexandria to admit himself to his com- 
munion, and only after signing a Confession of Faith, drawn up 
in the form of a letter to S. Cyril. Having done this, he 
preached in the great church of Alexandria on Christmas Day : 
and in the early part of his sermon, after dweUing on the 
peace to men which the Gloria in Excelsis promises, having pro- 
nounced the words, " Mary, the Mother of God, brings forth 
Emmanuel,^' he was interrupted by the acclamations of the 
people : " The True Faith ! the same Faith ! welcome, orthodox 
Bishop ! welcome, hke to like ! " His discourse, which was 
very short, was continually interrupted by such exclamations as 
these : and on the succeeding feast of the Circumcision, he had 
the opportunity of explaining his sentiments at greater length. 
Paul was anxious that the declaration he had himself signed 
might be accepted for John of Antioch also : but to this S. Cyril 
would by no means consent, and drew up another formula which 
he required that Prelate as a condition of Communion to sub- 

1 Labbe, iii. 1128. 


scribe^ founded on John's own Confession. He at the same 
time carried on a negociation at Constantinople^ for the 
purpose of bringing about the wished-for reconciliation; and 
the influence of the . Princess Pulcheria was highly useful 
iti the furtherance of his views. John^ finding that his cause 
lost ground^ was glad to come to terms: and signed the 
Confession of Faith which Cyril required^ and which was the 
same which he had previously sent by Paul. ^ In it he 
expressed his beUef^ that ^'our Lord Jesus Christ is the Only 
Son of (jod : perfect God and perfect Man^ of a reasonable soul 
and of flesh subsisting : according to his Divinity^ begotten of 
tlie Father before the world ; according to His Humanity^ bom 
in these last days for our Salvation^ of the Virgin Mary : con- 
substantial to the Father^ according to His Godhead^ and consub* 
stantial to us, according to His Manhood : and in that the Two 
natures have been united, we acknowledge one Lord, one Christ^ 
one Son. Wherefore we confess that the Blessed Virgin is the 
Mother of God : because the Word of God was incarnate and 
made man.^' The formula concluded by an approbation of the 
deposition of Nestorius, and an acknowledgment of Maximian 
as the rightful possessor of the Throne of Constantinople. 

The anxiety consequent on the prolongation of this affair, had g^^^!*' 
already cost S. Cyril two severe illnesses : one before Christmas, at 
the time of the arrival of Paul, — ^the other a few weeks later, 
which prevented him from announcing in person the time of 
Easter, according to his custom. And that during the whole 
of this year he suffered from iQ health, the commencement of 
his twenty-first Paschal Letter suflftciently shews. 

S. Cyril announced the happy news of his reconciliation with a.d. iss. 
John, in a sermon which he delivered on the twenty-third of 
April, in which he took occasion to explain his own tenets, and 
to vindicate them from certain objections which had been raised 
against them. For some members of the Latin Church took 
exception at this reconciliation, as if it had been brought about 
by a retractation, or at least suppression of the truth on the part 
of Cyril; and Isidore of Pelusium now as hastily accused him 
of a disposition to compromise the truth, as, during the Council 

1 TiUemont, ziv., 531, who is much more accurate in the statement of theie 
tedious negociations than Fleury. 



of Ephesus^ he had complained of his obstinacy in defending it.^ 
On the other hand^ some^ — ^the precursors of the destructive heresy 
of the Jacobites^ — complained that though he denied the existence 
of two Persons^ he stiU allowed John of Antioch to confess two 
Natures in the Saviour. The Orientals^ when once satisfied 
that he was not impUcated in the error of ApoUinaris^ were 
glad to profess their unity of faith with the Bishop of Alexan- 
dria : the Emperor and the Pope expressed their approbation of 
the happy reunion : and thus the difference^ which at one* time 
threatened such serious consequences^ was quietly composed. 
Heresy^ indeed^ still prevailed in the hi East^ and Chaldaea was 
not many years afterwards separated — as it still remains — from 
the Church Catholic : the followers of Nestorius keeping up 
their succession of Bishops from that day to this. Theodoret 
was one of the last to forsake the heretical party : and though 
some of his expressions on the Incarnation were always held 
unsound^ or at least suspected^ he thenceforward hved^ as he 
finally died^ in the Communion of the Church. 

With respect to the conduct of the Oriental Bishops through- 
out this whole affair^ we may remark that it has been usually 
characterized in much harsher terms than truth allows. One or 
two of the companions of John fell away into open heresy ; — ^but 
the greater part^ as soon as Cyril gave proof that he was not an 
Apollinarian, thankfully accepted his Communion. Had it not 
been for these men, the Monophysites, in the next phase of 
that controversy, by which the Church was harassed for two 
hundred and fifty years, would have reaped a fearfal advantage : 
when, in fact, they did use or abuse, even notwithstanding this 
safeguard, many of the expressions of the Alexandrian Patriarch. 
S. Cyril was much taken up in the business of composing, 
both by writings and by negociation, the divisions of the East ; 
but he also found time for the arrangement of a Paschal Cyde 
of ninety-five years. That Alexandria was still considered, by 
the larger majority of Christians, the Second Church, we have 
A.D.437. a striking proof in a letter of Pope Sixtus to a Council of 
Illyria, wherein he draws a distinction between the Decrees of 
the Coimcil of Constantinople on matters of Faith, and on points 
of Discipline. 

» Baron. 433. iv. 


After this time we find Cyril vainly attempting to procure the 
condemnation of Theodore of Mopsnestia: and from time to 
time interposing in the Oriental disputes on the Incarnation. 
In the course of his labours in this way, he once visited Jem- June 27. 
salem. At length, worn out rather with labour than years, he Death 
departed to his reward on the twenty-seventh day of June, 

A.aMJm JrJrJi!. 

The character of S. Cyril, like that of S. Gregory VII., S. 
Thomas of Canterbury, Nikon, and our own Laud, is precisely 
that which the world will never be able to comprehend. That »?* , ^ 

^ character of 

be should have laboured and suflFered, and spoken and written s. cyrii. 
so earnestly in defence of an abstract point of doctrine, should 
have excommunicated, and should have been excommunicated for 
its sake ; and, in obtaining the victory should have been content, 
although a heresy, yet existing, thereby had birth, — all this is 
mystery and scorn to those who have not learnt to value Ca- 
tholic doctrine on the subject of the Incarnation, as closely con- 
nected with the Sacrament of the holy Eucharist, and with our own 
Resurrection, or who have learnt to despise dogmatic teaching 
under the lax influence of a faithless age. But Cyril, while 
he knew the value of the great deposit which he guarded, was 
willing to yield every thing of a personal nature to his adversa- 
ries, and insisted on nothing which he did not deem essential to 
the preservation of the truth in its fulness and purity. It is 
true, that in youth his temper had been hasty, and his manner 
perhaps overbearing : so much the more is it to his praise, that 
in the great act of his life, the Council of Ephesus, where the 
one was severely tried, and the other closely observed, the defects 
of his earlier years are in vain sought. - Again : his calm and 
moderate statement of Truth is worthy of notice. Pressed by 
adversaries who asserted the doctrine of Two Persons in our 
LoBB, it would have been most natural for him to fall, as his 
followers did, into the opposite error of denying the existence of 
Two Natures. This he never did. The same writings, which 
had crushed one heresy in the Council of Ephesus, crushed its 
opposite in that of Chalcedon : they have indeed been quoted 
by the Jacobites, as testimonies in their favour, but only in 
detached portions, and with a manifest perversion of their sense. 
If, in any of his voluminous works, he speaks in a manner 

T 2 


which may seem to give advantage to the Monophysite creed, 
it must be remembered that many of his writings were falsified 
when the Church of Alexandria, with all its archives, was in the 
power of that sect. The letter of S. Leo, which was with respect 
to Monophysitism what the anathemas of S. Cyril were with 
respect to Nestorianism, was approved by the Fathers of Chal- 
cedon eiq)ressly on the ground of being consonant with them. 
And Theodoret, with a candour which does him the highest 
honour, makes use of the works of his great rival as a sword 
against the Apollinarians, with whom he once confounded him, 
and against the Monophysites, who professed, and still profess, 
to be his followers. If, nevertheless, any casual expression may 
fairly be quoted as favouring the tenets of Eutyches, we must 
say with the Catholics in their great conference with the Seve- 
rians, that if such expression seems at variance with the 
Twelve Anathemas, and S. Cyril^s defence and explanation 
of them, we neither approve nor condemn it. If we com- 
pare S. Cyril's conduct with that of others, who have been 
placed in a similar position, it will but shine the more 
brightly. It is no derogation from the veneration due to the 
memory of a most glorious Doctor of the Church, to say, that 
S. Augustine, in defending the doctrine of Divine Grace against 
the Pelagians, sometimes trembled on the verge of heresy : and, 
as matter of fact, the worst errors of Calvinism are defended by 
quotations, (unfair, it is true, and distorted quotations) from the 
writings of that Father. Again, S. Jerome, in his writings 
against Yigilantius and his fellows, while elevating Virginity, 
gave great countenance to those who regarded marriage as a 
tolerable evil, rather than as being honourable in all. And, as 
we have seen, S. Dionysius, in opposing Sabellianism, gave 
great occasion to the Arians to blaspheme. And yet S. 
Cynics temptations to defend one truth at the expense of 
another, were stronger than in any of the above cases. There 
may be other Fathers whose writings will be more generally in- 
teresting, and in these days more profitable, (though at the pre- 
sent time, when many openly refuse, in unconscious heresy, to 
bestow on the Blessed Virgin the title of Mother of God, they 
seem peculiarly appropriate,) but we shall not be wrong, while 
bestowing the first place among the defenders of Divine Truth 


on S. Athanasius^ in allotting the second to S. Cyri^ His cou-^ 
rage was^ doubtless^ his most distinguishing feature: but his 
moderation in his conduct with John of Antioch^ and his 
acquiescence in the creed proposed by the latter^ notwithstand- 
ing the comparative unsatisfactoriness of some of its expressions^ 
are truly praiseworthy. And if at Ephesus he may be thought 
to have carried matters with a high hand^ it must be remem- 
bered that his moderation was chiefly visible in his prosperity^ 
his impetuosity in his adversity. And even in that action which 
may be considered the great weakness of his life^ his precipita- 
tion of the Council of Ephesus^ he still evinced the same dis- 
regard of personal danger in the prosecution of a great cause. 
His humility is amply proved by the patience with which he 
received the unjust rebukes of S. Isidore of Pelusium. Thus, 
with S. Eulogius, we shall call him " the ardent, the pious, the 
learned, the never-vacillating''; with Anastasius, ''the most 
celebrated and blessed light of the Fathers''; with the Menology, 
"the glory of all Priests, the defender of the most Holy^ 
Synod"; with Sabbas of Palta, we shall regard him as one 
that, by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, followed the doc- 
trine and expressions of the Fathers ; with S. Celestine, as the 
generous defender of the Faith, as he that made good all that S. 
Paid requires in a teacher ; even though we may not entirely 
subscribe the affectionate exaggeration of S. Sixtus III., that 
^' Cyril surpassed all persons in all things.^ " 

It remains to say a few words on the fate of Nestorius. 
After having resided for some time at his monastery of S. 
Euprepius, near Antioch, he was banished by the Emperor to 
Fetra. But Theodosius appears to have changed his determi- 
nation, and the great Oasis was chosen as the final place of his 
exile. The end of his life was miserable. Driven by the barba- End of 
rians from the Oasis, seeking, in extreme old age, a refnge in 
Panopolis, hurried thence, by the inhumanity of the governor 
to Elephantine, recalled before arriving there, brought back to 

1 Of the internal government of hia said to have been the first to institute 

Churchy S. Cyril has left few memo- Festival Stations »t Alexandria : and 

rials. He was accused by his enemies Makrizi reports that he was also the 

of Simoniacal consecrations, apparently first to erect images in the churches of 

without the shadow of reason. He is £^gypt* 


Fanopolis^ half dead with fatigue^ and sobering from the effects 
of a fall^ and again exiled to a neighbouring town^ he was 
seized with a mortal disease ; and according to some his tongue^ 
according to others his whole body, being eaten of worms, he 
gave up the ghost. By his followers he is, of course, esteemed 
a glorious Saint and Confessor : the Jacobites have a tradition 
that the dews of heaven visit not the grave of the heresiarch.^ 

A.M. lOo. 



The bright days of Alexandria are past : and we are about to 
trace the decline of a Church, which we have followed through 
her various stages of increasing splendour, till, in S. Athanasius 
and S. Cyril, she reached the zenith of her reputation. It was 
reserved for a disciple of the latter to commence the downward 
sioscoraa, On the death of S. Cyril, his Archdeacon Dioscorus succeeded 

Pat. XXV. ' . fi ' 

A.D. 444. ' to the chair of S. Mark, although, as it would appear, not with- 
out some opposition. For it was afterwards asserted^ that he 
had been ordained by two Bishops only : and this report, though 
probably exaggerated, seems to indicate a diversity of sentiment 
from the outset as to the merits of the Bishop-elect. 

He had hitherto been accounted a man of excellent disposition, 
and was much beloved for his humility .^ But the asperity 
with which he claimed from the heirs of S. Cyril certain money 
which he alleged to be due to the See, procured him many ene- 
mies ; nor was it accepted as a satisfaction by the people, that 

1 We learn from Gregory Barhe- vented by tfae^ffidousness of a Nesto- 

brseus, (Asseman Bibl. Orient, ii. 316,) rian monk, wlio affirmed that in a 

that in later times, Gabriel, a cele- vision it had been revealed to him that 

brated Nestorian physician, in Syria, the Jacobites were wasting their fary 

who had heard from a friend of the on a cenotaph, and that the resting place 

insults to which the tomb of Nestorius of Nestorius was unknown to mortal 

was exposed, obtained an order from man. 

the Caliph, requesl^g the Sultan of ^ Epist. Ep. Prov. Pont. 

Egypt to send the bones of that Pre- ^ Theod. Ep. 60. Baron. 444. xix. 
late to Bagdad. But this was pre- 


these sums were employed by the Patriarch in enabling the sellers 
of bread and wine to furnish the poor with subsistence at a 
lower rate. 

In ike answer which Pope S. Leo wrote to the letter, in which, 
according to custom, Dioscorus announced his election and con- 
secration, we find the first attempt on the part of the Church of 
Rome, to intermeddle with the affairs of that of Alexandria. He s.Leo writes 

to him : 

gave the new Bishop instructions as to the rites to be observed 
at Ordinations and in Festivals, prefacing his advice with^the 
apologetic, and indeed half-playful, remark, that doubtless the 
observances of the two Churches were the same, inasmuch as S. 
Peter must have taught S. Mark the same discipline which he 
himself observed. And in point of fact, there was, as we have 
already had occasion to notice, a great similarity between the 
ceremonies of the two Churches. One remarkable point of 
discipline wherein they agreed, is pointed out in this letter of 
Leo : that even on the greatest Feasts, such as Easter, the 
Holy Eucharist was only celebrated in one church of the city, 
although it might be repeated as often as there was occasion, 
from the multitude of the people who attended in several distinct 

The new Bishop, however, soon shewed that personal holiness 
formed no part of his character. His palace was disgraced by *»*« ^™™o- 
the public dancers of Alexandria, and the too celebrated Irene 
was notoriously entertained as the Patriarch's concubine.^ 

Theodoret had been, previously to the death of S. Cyril, appa- 
rently much esteemed by Dioscorus, as indeed the tone of the 
letter addressed by the former to the latter on his elevation suffi- 
ciently proves. But after that event, the Archbishop of Alex- 
andria thought fit to change his conduct to his early friend. 
He, in the meanwhile, continued his writings on the subject 
of the Incarnation, and particularly opposed himself to the 
teaching of those who, through an excessive zeal against the 
errors of Nestorius, maintained that there existed only One 
Nature in the Saviour. Whatever, in other passages, may 

1 S. Leo. Ep. xi. Ed. Cacciari. **E/p^i'ij vdvr^ffffiv** 4Tt<TKovos ttirey 

^ Gibbon quotes, with a malicious iwtXBf&v 

pleasure, an epigram of some unknown Uus ZuvaTai vciffiv t V li6vo$ iySoy 

Alexandrian, not deficient in wit : ?X** » 



A.D. 447. 


A.D. 448. 

have been the soundness of his expressions^ he was here^ at 
leasts maintaining the Catholic doctrine; and among other 
witnesses in its favour^ he cited Theophilus and Cyril^ who 
could neither of them be suspected of any partiality for the 
heresy of •Nestorius. Theodoret was accused of dividing the 
Person of our Saviour into two Sons^ and Dioscorus^ probably 
wishing to imitate Cyril^ wrote to Domnus of Antioch^ in which 
city Theodoret had promulgated his opinions. The latter addressed 
a letter to his accuser in his defence, in which, after satisfactorily 
explaining his faith, he concluded by anathematizing those who 
should say that the Blessed Virgin was not the Mother of God. 
But Dioscorus paid no manner of attention to this defence ; he 
not only, in the Church of Alexandria, deUvered Theodoret over 
to an anathema, but made a formal complaint of him to Flavian 
of Constantinople. Theodoret loudly complained of this step, 
as in contravention of the Canons of Nicsea. " The province of 
Alexandria,'^ so he wrote to Flavian, '^is Egypt and Egypt 
alone ; if that city has the chair of S. Mark, Antioch has that 
of S. Peter, the Master of S. Mark.'' Domnus, for his part, 
also sent a deputation to Constantinople, to defend himself 
against the charges of Dioscorus ; regardless of the taunts of 
the latter, that Antioch was thus giving precedence and juris- 
diction to Constantinople^ and abandoning its high post of the 
Church third in dignity. 

It was evident, that although Alexandria and Antioch pro- 
EutychM fessed the same faith, there was a substantial difference in their 
condemned, tenets ; and an occasion soon presented itself of bringing them 
into collision. There was one Eutyches, Abbat of a large mo- 
nastery near Constantinople, who had been a friend of S. Cyril, 
and was considered by him as one of the staunchest defenders of 
the Truth against Nestorius. This man was accused by Euse- 
bius of Dorylseum, (who by a singular coincidence had been the 
first opponent of Nestorius,) of renewing the ApoUinarian 
heresy, by asserting that the Divinity and Humanity of the Son 
of 60D formed but One Nature, and that the former as well as 
the latter had suffered. This heresy had often been imputed to 
S. Cyril, but was now clearly brought home to Eutyches, before 
a Council of about thirty Bishops at Constantinople. They 
treated him with the utmost patience; but finding him invincibly 

Council of 
nople : 


wedded to his errors, proceeded, Flavian being the president, to 
anathematize himself and his tenets. This proceeding threw 
the East into confusion : Flavian was stigmatized as a Nestorian 
in disguise : even Pope S. Leo, afterwards the great bulwark of 
the Church against the Eutychians, was not at first fully satis- 
fied ^ : and the Emperor was finally persuaded to summon an 
(Ecumenical Council at Ephesus. Several letters were addressed 
by Theodosius on the subject : one to the future Council, mark- convocation 

. , . , of ui OCcu- 

mg out the question to be debated, namely the differences which ^°*^ 
had arisen between Flavian and Eutyches; one to the two com- Ephesus. 
missioners, whom he appointed for the maintenance of order; 
and one to Dioscorus, appointing him President, Flavian being 
required to appear as a party, not as a judge. Leo was also in- 
vited to attend : but excused himself on account of the shortness 
of notice. He however sent three legates: JuUus,^ Bishop of 
PuteoU; Benatus, a Presbyter; and Hilarus, Archdeacon of the 
Roman Church, and addressed a most important letter to 
Flavian, on the subject of the Incarnation; which, from its 
subsequent reception by the Church, may be considered an 
embodiment of Catholic teaching ob this point. 

As it was the rejection or adoption of this Epistle which in- 
fluenced the whole future fortunes of the Church of Alexandria ; 
as a great part of its subsequent history is nothing else than an 
account of the struggle between the heresy condemned, and the 
truth supported by Leo; and as without a clear understanding of 
the exact and dogmatical decision of the Church on this subject) 
much that will occur in the following pages will be unintelligible, 
it seems well to give a translation, in this place, of the doctrinal 
portion of this celebrated Epistle.' 

Leo Bishof, to his Beloved Brother Flavian, Bishop 

OF Constantinople. 

Having perused the letters of your love, at the lateness of i^m© of s< 
which we marvel, and having gone through the Episcopal Acts 

1 S. Leo, £p. zz. (ii. 23)....nondum Caccucri, (torn. ii. 114—138,) who 

agnoscimos, qu& justiti& It communione makes it the twenty-fifth Epistle. It 

Ecclesise fuerit separatus, &c. is necessary to premise this, because 

^ Cacciari, ii. 89, note M. several of the readings in the varions 

3 The reader will bear in mind that editions differ considerably. 

we are translating irom the Edition of 


in order^ we have at length become acquainted with the scandal 
which has fallen out^ and which has risen among you against the 
integrity of the Faith, and those matters which aforehand 
appeared to be hidden, have at length been opened and made 
manifest to us. By which it appears to us, that Eutyches, who 
was beforetime honourable from the name of Priest, is exceed- 
ingly imprudent and unlearned] so that the saying of the 
Prophet may refer also to him,^ He hath left off to be wise, and 
to do goody he imagineth mischief upon hu bed. For what 
mora willed, Am to give the mind to impiety, and to refuse 
trust to the wiser and more learned f but into this folly they 
fall, who, when they be by any obstacle hindered from the 
knowledge of the Truth, seek not to the voice of the Prophets, 
nor to the letters of the Apostles, nor to the authority of the 
Evangelists, but to themselves: and are therefore masters of 
error, because they were not disciples of Truth. For what eru- 
dition hath he acquired from the sacred pages of the New and 
Old Testament, who understandeth not even the prmciples of 
the Creed itself. That which is uttered through the whole world 
by the mouths of all Catechumens, is not yet received in the 
heart of this aged man. 

He then, ignorant what he ought to beheve concerning the In- 
carnation of the Word of God, and unwilling to labour in the ex- 
tent of Holy Scripture, that he might merit the lightof intelligence, 
must at least have received by continual hearing that common and 
consentient confession, by which the whole multitude of the faith- 
ful professes. That they beheve in God the Father Almighty, 
and in Jesus Christ His Only Son our Lord, Who was bom 
by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary. By which three sen- 
tences the engines of well-nigh all heretics are destroyed. For 
since God, Almighty and Eternal, is asserted to be the Father, 
it is proved that the Son is Co-Eternal with Him, differing in no- 
thing from the Father, because He is God of GoD, Almighty 
of Almighty, Co-Eternal Son of the Eternal ; not later in time, 
not inferior in Power, not dissimilar in Glory, not divided in 
Essence ; and the Same Eternal and Only Begotten Son of the 
Eternal Father was born of the Holy Ghost, and the Virgin 
Mary. Which temporal Nativity in no way detracted from that 
divine and eternal Nativity, in no way added to it; but expended 

1 Psalm xxxvi. 3, 4. 

SXCT. IV.] TOME or S. LEO. 28S 

itself wholly^ in restoring man^ who had been deceived, and 
in conquering deaths and destroying by its virtue the Devil, who 
had the power of death. For we could not have overcome the 
author of Sin and Death, unless He, Whom neither sin could 
contaminate, nor death detain, had taken upon Himself our 
Nature, and made it His. For He was conoeivod of the Holy 
Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mary, who bare Him, ema as 
she had conceived Him, without loss of Virginity. 

But if from this mo^t pure Fount of the Christian Faith he 
was not able to draw true knowledge, because he had, by his own 
blindness, darkened the splendour of manifest truth, he should 
have betaken himself to the doctrine of the Evangelists, seeing 
that Matthew saith, The Book of the generation of Jesus 
Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham. He should 
have sought instruction from the preaching of the Apostle ; and, 
after reading in the Epistle to the Romans, Paul, a Servant of 
Jesus Chbist, called to be an Apostle, separated unto the 
Gospel of God, which He had promised afore by His Prophets 
in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Chbist 
our Lord, Which was made of the Seed of David according 
to the flesh, he should have turned his pious attention to the 
pages of the Prophets, and he would have found the Promise of 
God to Abraham, In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth 
be blessed. And that he might not doubt concerning the pro-* 
priety of this Seed, he should have followed the Apostle, where 
he saith. Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises 
made. He saith not. And to seeds, as of many ; but as of 
One, And to thy Seed, Which is Christ.^ " He should have 
apprehended by the hearing of his heart the preaching of the 
Prophet Isaiah, Behold a Virgin shall conceive and bear a 
Son, and shall call His Name Immanuel, which being inter-* 
preted is God with us.^ He should have read with faith the 
words of the same Prophet, For unto us a Child is born; unto 
us a Son is given ; and the Government shall be upon His 
Shoulder ; and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Coun- 
sellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince 

1 It deems much better, with Quesnel ^ Gal. iii. 16. 

and the Ballerini, and the Greek, to read 
totam *«, than, with Cacciari, iotum Se. ' Isaiah vii. 14, 


of Peaces Nor did he speak in vain^ when he said that the 
Word was made Flesh, as if Christ, bom of the Virgin^s 
womb, had the form of a man, and not the verity of His 
Mother^s Body. Or did he think that our Lord Jesus Christ 
was not of our nature, because the Angel, sent to the Blessed 
and Ever- Virgin Mary, saith. The Holy Ghost %hall come 
upon thee, and the power of the Higliest shall overshadow 
thee : therefore also That Holy Thing Which shall be born of 
thee shall be called the Son of Gron': as if, since the concep- 
tion of the Virgin was a Divine Act, the Flesh of the Conceived 
was not of the nature of the conceiver ? But we are not to 
understand that Generation, singularly admirable, and admirably 
singular, in such sort, as if, by the novelty of That Which was 
created the propriety of kind were removed. 

For the Holy Ghost gave fecundity to the Virgin : but the 
Verity of the Body was taken from her body ; and Wisdom 
building Herself an House, The Word was made Flesh and 
dwelt among tis^: namely, in That Flesh which It took from 
man, and animated with the spirit^ of rational life. The pro- 
priety then of Each Nature and Substance being preserved, and 
both uniting so as to form One Person, humility was assumed by 
Majesty, infirmity by Virtue, mortality by Eternity, andfto pay^ 
the debt of our condition, inviolable was united to passible nature ; 
that (which was in congruity with our remedy) One and the Same | 
Mediator of God and Man, the Man Christ Jesus, might be able \ 
to die from the one, might not be able to die from the other.r 
Therefore in the whole and perfect Nature of Very Man, Very 
God was bom, altogether God, altogether as we. But in saying 
'' as we,^^ we mean in those things which the Creator formed 
in us at first, and which He undertook to restore. For what 
the Deceiver introduced, and deceived man committed, of these 
things there was no trace in the Saviour. Nor did He, because 
He participated in human infirmities, therefore participate in 
human guilt. He assumed the form of a servant, without 
spot of sin, honouring humanity, not dishonouring Divinity; 
because that emptying of Himself, by which, being Invisible, 
He made Himself Visible, and being Creator and Lord of all 

1 Isaiahiz. 6. * We read, with the Greek and 

^ S. Luke i. 35. Quesnel, spiritd, 

« S. John i. 14. 


thingd^ condescended to be a Mortal^ was the inclination of His 
Compassion^ not the failure of His Power. For He, Who 
remaining in the Form of God made man. The Same, in the 
form of a slave, was made man. Each Nature holds without 
defect its own propriety ; and as the Form of God destroys not 
the form of a servant, so the form of a servant diminishes not 
the Form of God. For because the Devil boasted, that man, 
deceived by his arts, was without divine gifts, and deprived of his 
dowry of immortality endured the hard sentence of death, and 
in his miseries he had found some consolation from the fellowship 
of another transgressor (viz. man), and that God, the principle of 
justice so requiring, had changed His Own designs touching 
man, whom He had formed in so great honour ; need was there 
of the dispensation of a secret council, that God, Who cannot 
change, and Whose Will cannot be deprived of its benignity, 
should fulfil towards us, by a hidden Sacrament, the Dispensa- 
tion of His Mercy, and that man, driven into sin by the craft of 
the malice of the Devil, might not perish, contrary to the Will 
of God. 

The Son of God therefore enters this lower world, descending 
from the Heavenly Seat, yet not departing from the Glory of His 
Fatheb, begotten after a new sort, by a new Nativity. After 
a new sort : because, invisible among His Own, He condescended 
to become Visible among us: the Incomprehensible conde- 
scended to be comprehended : He That existed before time, to 
be bom in time ; the Lord of the Universe took upon Himself 
the form of a servant, having veiled the immensity of His 
Majesty : the Impassible God disdained not to be a passible 
man : the Immortal to be subject to the laws of death. By a 
new Nativity: because inviolate Virginity was ignorant of 
concupiscence, and yet ministered the material of Flesh. From 
the Mother of the Lobd, nature, not sin, was assumed ; and in 
our Lord Jesus Christ, bom of the Virgin's womb, because 
His Nativity was wonderful, it followeth not therefore that His 
Nature is dissimilar from ours. For He That is Very (jOD, the 
Same is also Very Man ; and there is no deceit in this Union> 
while the humiUty of man and the Majesty of God meet 
together. For as God is not changed by the Mercy displayed, 
so man is not consumed by the dignity bestowed. \ For each form 


acts after its proper sort while in communion with the other : 
the WoBD working that which is proper to the Word, and the 
Flesh accomplishing that which is proper to the Flesh. The one 
is glorious with miracles, the other yields to injuries f and as the 
Word recedeth not firom the equality of the Fathbr^s Glory, 
so the Flesh leaveth not the nature of our race. For, — ^which 
is often to be repeated, — He is One and the Same : Very Son of 
God, Very Son of Man. God : — ^because it is written. In the 
beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, 
and the Word was God^: Man: for the Word was made 
Flesh, and dwelt among us.^ God: for all things were 
made by Him, and without Htm was not anything made 
tliat was made,^ Man: for He was made of a Woman, 
made under the Law,^ The Nativity of the Flesh is a proof 
of Human Nature : the pregnancy of a Virgin, testimony of 
Divine Virtue. The Infancy of the Babe is shown by the 
humiUty of the cradle; the Majesty of the Most High is 
declared by the songs of Angels. He was in form as the 
infants whom. Herod sought to slay ; but He is the Lord of all. 
Whom the Wise Men rejoice, as suppliants, to adore. When 
He came to the Baptism of John His Forerunner, lest it should 
be hidden from sight that Divinity was concealed by the veil of 
the Flesh, the Voice of the Father thundered from Heaven, and 
said. This is My Beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased*^ 
To Him, Whom as man the craft of the Devil tempteth, to the 
Same as God, the services of Angels minister. To be an- 
hungered, a-thirst, to be weary, to sleep, is evidently human. 
But to feed five thousand with five loaves, and to give to the 
Samaritan Woman Living Water, which whoso drank should 
never thirst, to walk the sea with unsinking footsteps, and to 
still the lifting up of th^«;iiBves by rebuking the tempest : this, 
without doubt, is Divine. As therefore, — to pass over many 
things, — ^it is not of the same Nature to weep for Lazarus, a 
departed friend, and by the command of the Voice to raise him 
from the dead, having rolled away the stone of the four days' 
sepulchre ; or to hang on the tree, and to turn day into night, 
and shake the elements; or to be pierced with nails, and to open 

1 S. Jofani. I. 4 Gal. It. 4. 

) S. John L 14. 

» S. John i. 2. * S. Matt. iii. 1 7. 


the gates of Paradise to the faith of the thief : — so it is not of the 
same Nature to say, land the Father are One^ and live Father 
is greater than /.^ iFor, albeit in our Lord Jesus CHRIST'*^ 
there is One Person of God and Man, yet that whence con- / 
tumely is common to both, and that whence glory is common to / 
both, differs. Prom our Nature He hath the Humanity, which i 
is less than the Father ; from the Father He hath the / 
Divinity, which is equal with the Father. ) y 

On account then of this unity of Person to be imderstood of 
both Natiu'es, we read that the Son of Man descended from 
Heaven, since the Son of God took Flesh of that Virgin of 
whom He was bom. And again, we read that the Son of God 
was crucified and buried, though He suffered these things, not 
in His Divinity, in which He is Only-Begotten and Co-Eternal 
Son, and Consubstantial with the Father, but in the Infirmity 
of His Human Nature. Wherefore we all, even in the Creed, 
coofess that the Only-Begotten Son of God was crucified and 
buried, according to that saying of the Apostle, For had they 
known it they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory, ^ 
And when our Lord and Saviour Himself was instructing by 
His questions the faith of His Disciples, Whom, said He, do 
men say that I the Son of Man am ? And when they had 
related the divers opinions of divers persons. But ye, saith He, 
Whom say ye that I am? Whom say ye that I, Who am 
the Son of Man, and Whom ye see in the form of a servant, 
and in the verity of Flesh, Whom say ye that I am ? Then 
blessed Peter divinely inspired, and about, by his confession, to 
profit all nations. Thou art, saith he, the Christ, the Son 
of the Living God.* And not without reason was he pro- 
nounced blessed by the Lord ; and lie, who by revelation of the 
Father confessed the same to be the Son of God, and Christ, 
drew from the Comer Stone the firmness both of his virtue and 
of His Namt : because one of these things confessed without 
the other, bed not profited to salvation ; and it was equally 
dangerous to acknowledge the Lord Jesus Christ to be God 
alone, and not Man, or Man alone and not God. But after the 
Resurrection of the Lord, which was the Resurrection of a true 

1 S. John X. 30. 3 2 Cor. ii. 8. 

2 S. John xiv. 25. * S. Matt. xvi. 16, 

z^ji^ U(^ 


Body, because the Same arose from the dead. Who had been cru- 
cified and buried, what else was performed by the delay of forty 
days, than that the integrity of our Faith should be purged from 
all darkness ? For conversing, and dwelling, and eating with 
His Disciples, and allowing Himself to be examined by the 
diligent and curious touch of those, who yet doubted; He 
therefore both entered, when the doors were closed, and by 
breathing on them bestowed on them the Holy Ghost, and gave 
them the Ught of understanding, and opened to them the 
mysteries of the Holy Scriptures, and also showed them the 
Wound in His Side, and the prints of the nails, and all the signs 
of His recent Passion, saying, Behold My Hands and My 
Feet, that it is I Myself; handle Me and see, for a spirit 
hath not flesh and bones ^ as ye see Me have ^: that the pro- 
prieties of the Divine and Human Natures might be acknow- 
ledged to remain in Him undivided ; and that we may thus know, 
that the Word is not that which the Flesh is, but might confess 
that the One Son of God consisteth of the Word and the Flesh. 
Of which Mystery of Faith this Eutyches is to be repu- 
ted altogether ignorant, who has neither acknowledged our 
nature in the Son of God, neither by the humility of mortality, 
nor by the Glory of Resurrection ; nor feared the saying of the 
blessed Apostle and EvangeUst S. John, where he saith. Every 
spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the Flesh 
is of God : and every spirit that divideth^ Jesus is not of 
God: and this is Anti-Christ. But what is it to divide 
Jesus, except to separate from Him the Human Nature, and 
by impudent fictions to make void the Mystery of Faith, by 
which alone we are saved? For he that is ignorant with respect 
to the Nattu-e of the Body of Christ must also be possessed 
with the folly of the same ignorance with respect to His Passion. 
For, if he beheves that the Cross of the Lord was not imagi^ 
nary, and that the Sufferings undertaken for the Salvation of the 
world were real, let him acknowledge His Flesh, Whose Death 
he beUeves. Let him not deny that He was a Man with a . . 
Body like our own. Whom he allows to have been passible ; for ^ 

' S. Luke zxiv. 39. Greek Version has t^ Hiaipovv, The 

'IS. John iv. 4. ** Divideth/' present Greek text reads, ft /i^ 6fio\o7«r 
tolviif or as others ready scindit. The rhp 'Iiy^ovv. 


a denial of His Flesh is a denial of His Corporeal Passion. If 
therefore he embraces the Christian Faith^ and turns not away 
his ears from the preaching of the Grospel, let him see what 
Nature it was that hung transfixed with nails on the wood of the 
Cross ; let him understand^ when the Side of the Crucified was 
opened by the spear of the soldier^ whence the Blood and Water 
flowed forth, that the Church of God might be refreshed by the 
Layer, and by the Chalice. Let him hear also Blessed Peter the 
Apostle preaching, that Sanctification of the Spirit is through 
sprinkling of the Blood of Jesus Christ. Let him read atten- 
tively the words of the same Apostle, where he saith, Foras- 
mtich as ye know that ye were not redeemed by corruptible 
thingSyOS silver and gold, from your vain conversation received 
by tradition from your fathers : but with the Precious Blood 
of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot. 
Let him not fight against the testimony of Blessed John the 
Apostle, where he saith. And the Blood of Jesus Christ His 
Son cleanseth us from all sin. And again: TTiis is the victory 
that overcometh the world, even our Faith. Who is he that 
overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the 
Son of God ? This is He That came by water and blood, 
even Jesus Christ, not by water only, but by water and blood. 
And it is the Spirit TTiat beareth witness, because the Spirit 
is Truth ; for there are three that bear witness, the Spirit, 
and the Water, and the Blood, and these three are one. The 
Spirit, that is, of Sanctification, and the Blood of Redemption, 
and the Water of Baptism, which three are one, and remain un- 
divided; and none of them is disjoined from its connexion 
because the CathoUc Church lives and makes progress in this 
Faith, that neither in Christ Jesus must Humanity be believed 
without Very Divinity, nor Divinity without Very Humanity, i 

Dioscorus, on the receipt of the Emperor's letter, sailed from 
Alexandria to Ephesus, to take the presidency of the Council, 
just as S. Cyril, eighteen years before, had done. But here the 
resemblance ends : Cyril went to support Catholic Truth, 
Dioscorus to give for a while the victory to error. 

' The concluding section is taken up Constantinople, and does not treat im- 
with the proceedings of the Council of mediately of the Incarnation. 




THE ''robbers' meeting '^ AT EPHESXJS. 

The time for the opening of the Council approaching^ Dioscoms 
arrived at Ephesus with ten of his Bishops : — the mandate of the 
Emperor, requiring ten metropolitans, being, in his case, incapa- 
ble of being obeyed. His cause, on first consideration, seemed 
fair. The friend of S. Cyril had been condemned in a hastily 
summoned Synod at Constantinople ; and that friend an Abbat^ 
venerable for his age, illustrious for his sanctity, distinguished 
for the opposition which he had offered to the first fury of Nes- 
torianism. Many of those who clamoured against him had also 
calumniated S. Cyril : the charge of ApoDinarianism was the 
same in both cases : the Prelate by whom he was condemned was 
openly accused by the Emperor as tlie origin of the troubles. 
One hundred and twenty-eight Bishops, besides the deputies of 
absent Prelates, with a large number of Priests and Abbats, 
assembled in the church of S. Mary : and Dioscorus presided, 
as well by virtue of his dignity, as by the express command of 
the Emperor. Next to him came Julian, Bishop of Puteoli, the 
Thrones of Antioch, Jerusalem, and Constantinople : the last- 
named See being thus unaccountably degraded to the fifth place, 
conncii It was OH the eighth of August, seven days after the appointed 

A^st 8, time, that the Council was opened. Though Dioscorus was 
President, yet the Emperor's letter charged Juvenal of Jerusa- 
lem, and Thalassius of Csesarea, with a share in the conduct of 
affairs; though, in truth, their colleague allowed them little 
else than nominal authority. 

John, a presbyter of Alexandria, and chief of the notaries, 
briefly stated the cause of the assembling of the Synod, and 
read the Epistle of the Emperor convoking it. Immediately on 
its conclusion, Julius the B,oman Legate, interpreted by Ploren- 
tius. Bishop of Sardis, informed the Council that Leo had 
also been summoned, and Hilarus, a Roman Deacon, the third 
of the Legates, (the Priest Renatus, who was one of them, having 

A.o. 449. 


died on the journey^) stated that it was not the custom for the 
Roman Pontiff to appear in person at an (Ecumenical Synod; 
but they had an epistle addressed by him to the Council^ which 
they were desirous to present to it. '^ Let the letters of our 
holy brother, Leo/' said Dioscorus, evidently by a preconcerted 
plan, " be given in/' As they were being handed forward, John 
the Notary, as if he had not heard the demand of the Legates, 
said that there were further letters of the Emperor, which it 
might be well to read. " Let them be read," said Juvenal of 
Jerusalem, " and inserted in the Acts/' This communication 
requested that Barsumas, a Syrian Abbat, characterized as a man 
of great piety, (and who had come accompanied by a thou- 
sand monks,) should be present in the Synod, as the represen- 
tative of all the Eastern Archimandrites. " The same notification 
has been made to me," remarked Juvenal; ^^and the Holy 
(Ecumenical Council will probably do well to admit the Abbat." 
Dioscorus inquired if the Emperc»*'s Commissioners, Elpidius 
and Eulogius, had any information to give on the subject? 
Elpidius spoke, and spoke well, on the grave responsibility of 
the Fathers. " To-day," said he, " the Lord and God of all, 
the Word and Sayioijr, submits Himself to your judgment, 
and honours you with the power of deciding His Cause ; that, 
if He find you judging rightly here. He may both honour you 
on earth, and confess you before the Father when He shall 
come to judge the world. But if any come with a deceitful 
heart, to shake the foundations of the Faith, or to call in question 
the Doctrine of the Holy Fathers, woe to him from both, from 
God and from the Emperor ! Good were it for that man that 
he had never been born ; who, when the thief, and the publican, 
and the harlot, and the Syrophoenician confessed, refuses to ac- 
knowledge Him Who is in the Glory of the Father, and Who 
humbled Himself for our sakes." These reflections were evi- 
dently levelled at Flavian; and their object was made more 
manifest when the Imperial letters, having been read, were found 
openly to accuse that holy Prelate as the source of the present 
calamities. At its conclusion, Thalassius proposed that till the 
Faith was decided, nothing else, in compliance with the Caesar's 
will, should be treated. '' My instructions are the sanje," re- 
marked Julius. Elpidius proposed the examination of the Acts 



of the Constantinopolitan Council, and of the deposition of 
Eutyches. Dioscorus at once assented. ''We must decide,'' 
said he, "whether they are consonant to the decrees of the 
Fathers. Ye would not wish to innovate on their Faith ? '' 
"Anathema,'' cried the Council, "to him that shall innovate ! 
Anathema to him that shall call into question! Keep we 
the Faith of the Fathers ! " And the notaries of Dioscorus 
added several exclamations in praise of that Prelate, which seem 
to have had no real existence, but which were inserted in the 
Acts. " Then," said Elpidius, " since the Coimcil is unanimous 
in the confession of Faith, let the Archimandrite Eutyches be in- 
troduced, and heard in his own defence." There was a token 
of general approbation. Juvenal gave orders that the Archi- 
mandrite should be allowed to enter, and to produce his docu- 
ments ; and Thalassius, when he appeared, informed him that he 
was at liberty to bring forward anything which might serve his 
cause with the Great and Holy Synod. 
ifeSdtohte Eutyches, after uttering the words, "I commend myself to 
defence; the Father, the SoN, and the Holy Ghost, and to your jus- 
tice," handed in a memorial, which he requested the Council to 
consider, and which was accordingly read to them by John the 
Notary. It commenced with the Nicene Creed ; after the pro- 
fession of which, "This is the Faith," proceeded the aged 
Abbat, ^^ in which I was bom : — in which I was forthwith dedi- 
cated to God : in which I have lived : — ^and in which I hope to 
die." He then appealed to Cyril in defence of his position : 
accused, he said, by Eusebius of Dorylseum^ of a heresy which 
could not be defined, because he objected to a new definition of 
the Faith, and clave to the Creeds of Nicsea and Ephesus, and 
to those alone. Vainly, he continued, had he appealed from the 
unjust judgment of Flavian to the future Council : vainly 
pointed to his hoary hairs, grown gray in warfare against heresy : 
unheard, unheeded, he was deposed by a sentence drawn up long 
before, anathematized, and delivered over to pubUc indignation, 
as a heretic and a Manichsean. '^ To the judgment of your 
Blessednesses," concluded the Archimandrite, " I appealed from 
the beginning : and now again I confess, in the Presence of 
Jesus Christ, Who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good con- 
fession, that I thus hold, and believe, and understand, as the 


Holy Fathers who assembled in Nicaea defined the Faith: 
which definition was confirmed by the former Coimcil of 

The memorial having been finished, Flavian spoke : " The 
accused has been heard : the accuser, Eusebius of Dorylseum, 
ought to be heard also.** Elpidius interposed. The function 
of the present Council, he said, was not to re-open the question, 
but to judge at Ephesus those who had judged at Constanti- 
nople. The rest of the acts of that Council ought to be read. 
Elpidius, said Dioscorus, has spoken well. And he called on the 
other Bishops for their opinions. Juvenal of Jerusalem, Stephen 
of Ephesus, Cyrus of Aphrodisias, Ttalassius of Caesarea, and 
thirteen other Prelates, of whom the last, Uranius of Himeria in 
Osrhoene, spoke in Syriac, gave their sentence for reading the 
Acts : — and then the whole Synod, by acclamation, caUed for 
them. This unanimity of sentiment in so manifestly unjust a 
proceeding, might have been considered a fabrication of Dios- 
corus, had it not been allowed to pass unquestioned, when the 
Acts of the Robbers* Meetinc were read at Chalcedon. Dios- the Acts at 

. ... Constanti- 

corus, after the acclamation, turning to Julius, inquired whether nopic read] 
he, as Vicar of the most holy Bishop Leo, also opined for the 
Acts ? We will that they are read on this condition, replied 
Julius, that the Epistle of the Pope be first heard. '' Since,** 
said Hilarus, "the most holy Bishop of the Roman Church, 
on a perusal of the documents which ye now desire to hear, has 
written and sent** — Eutyches interrupted. The Roman Legates 
were suspected men : — they had lodged with Flavian : — ^he hoped 
that then* testimony would not be received to his prejudice. Dios- 
corus insisted that the Acts • should be first read, and then the 
Epistle of Leo : and the notary obeyed. The Acts were inter- 
rupted, as was usual, by various exclamations of the Council. 
The name of S. Cyril having been accidentally mentioned in the 
memorial presented by Eusebius to Flavian, there was a confused 
cry. "The memory of Cyril is eternal!** "Dioscorus and 
Cyril are of one mind ! ** " The Sjmod believes as Cyril !** 
" Anathema to him that adds ! '* " Anathema to him that sub- 
tracts!** "Anathema to him that innovates!" Julian said, 
'^ It is the Faith of the Apostolic See.** The Acts of Constan- 
tinople included the Second Letter of Cyril to Nestorius, part 



of the Acts of the First Council of Ephesus, and the Epistle of 
Cyril to John of Antioch, on the conclusion of the misunder- 
standing between their Churches. This was brought forward at 
Constantinople for the purpose of shewing that Cyril held, 
definitely and unreservedly, the doctrine of Two Natures Incar- 
nate : and, as soon as it was finished, Eusebius, Bishop of Be- 
lytus, endeavoured to neutralize the effect which it might have 
produced on the Ephesine Synod. Cyril of blessed memory, he 
said, had been, by the wise ordering of Divine Providence, mis- 
interpreted in his life, and so compelled to explain what might 
appear doubtful by what was more clear. Thus, though in the 
letter recited above, he appeared to allow Two Natures after the 
union, yet in other Epistles, to Valerian of Iconiimi, to Acacius 
of Melitene, to Successus of Diocsesarea, he had used these ex- 
press words, — '' We must not then imagine Two Natures, but 
One Incarnate Nature of God the Word.^'^ And this statement 
has the authority, real or fictitious, of S. Athanasius. The 
reading of the Acts at Constantinople proceeded again, with 
hardly an interruption, till it came to a question put by Eusebius 
to Eutyches, in order to press him to declare that Two Natures 
remain after the Incarnation, and that Christ, according to the 
Flesh, is Consubstantial with us; then the Egyptian Bishops cried 
out, "Out with Eusebius! bum him! bum him alive! sever 
him in two ! as he divided, let him be divided ! *' " Will you 
endure,^^ said Dioscorus, '^that Two Natures should be spo- 
ken of after the Incarnation?" "Anathema," cried his own 
Prelates, " to him that shall say so \" "I want your voices 
and your hands," continued the President : " if any cannot 
speak, let him stretch out his hand." And the obedient Egyp- 
tians again shouted anathema. ^ The remaining Acts of Con- 

^ This famous saying is believed to 
have come originally from Apollinaris , 
not from Athanasius. Doubtless it is not 
only patient of, but as the faith is now 
defined, positively involving an heretical 
sense. Nevertheless, it is possible that 
Cyril cited it, simply because he be- 
lieved it to have come from Athanasius, 
and employed the word tpvats in the 

sense of Person. But if he were ever 
betrayed into error by the pseudo- Atha- 
nasius, his testimony to the Doctrine 
of Two Natures is clear and distinct in 
other places; and the confession of 
Faith with which he was satisfied in the 
Orientals was, as we have seen, branded 
as Nestorian. 
' It is necessary to read the Acts of 


stantinople having been read^ and the proceedings subsequent to 
the deposition of Eutyches^ a conversation ensued as to whether 
the Acts of the Synod had been falsified. Flavian in vain en- 
deavoured to obtain a hearing: and Dioscorus imperiously 
called on the Prelates to vote. 

It is necessary to bear in mind the state of the Synod. Dios- 
corus^ in the plenitude of his power^ openly threatened depriva* 
tion and exile to those who should dissent from him : the Impe- 
rial troops blocked up every avenue to the church ; the thousand 
monks of Barsumas were ready for any deed of violence; the 
Parabolani were ready to obey the least nod of their Master. 
That a sentence thus pronounced was not Canonical^ is most 
certain : it is only marvellous how more than one hundred Pre- 
lates could so basely prefer their safety or their Sees to the 
Truth with which they were entrusted. Somewhat may be said 
in their favour. Eutyches came before them as the friend of S. 
Cyril; the archdeacon of S. Cyril presided in the assembly; the 
words of S. Cyril had just been quoted, ^'We confess One Na- 
ture after the Incarnation '^ : the case had been prejudged by 
the Emperor; the Creed of Eutyches might be looked on as 
not so utterly opposed to that of his opponents ; they affirmed 
that Christ was Consubstantial to us, according to the flesh, 
and he confessed that Christ was Incarnate of the Blessed 
Virgin, and that she was consubstantial to us : this, in a judg- 
ment of charity, might be supposed to neutralize the pertinacity 
of Eutyches in defending One Nature. Partly then terrified, Eutyches 
partly ignorant, partly, perhaps, persuaded, the assembled Fathers 
set their hands to the acquittal of Eutyches, and thus the Mono- 
physite heresy was born in the Church. Juvenal of Jerusalem, 
Domnus of Antioch, Stephen of Ephesus, and Thalassius of 
Csesarea, led the way in this foul injustice ; and, contrary to 
usual custom, all the Prelates gave their opinions separately. 

the Latrodnium with the Commentary with ^ &yla tr^otios^lwty, ^Apoy^ Kawoy 

of the Fathers of Chaloedon, at their re. K,r.\, But when this was read at 

lection in that Synod, in order that Chalcedon, — oi &yaro\iKo\, Ktd ol abv 

we may not receive the assertions of avrois 9h\afi4(rraroi ivlcKoroi ifiStitray, 

Dioscorus for the words of the Council TaSra ouSfls cTirc* ravra AiSctcopos hwf 

of Ephesus. The anathema to Euse- rot/ra ol Aiy^rm tlwov, 
hius is, in the Ephesine Acts, prefiu^ 



there being no acclamation at the end. The Roman Legates 
would appear to have opposed the acquittal of Eutyches.^ 

Tte Protonotary proceeded to inform the Council, that he held 
in his hands a memorial addressed to it by the Monks who com- 
posed the Religious House over which Eutyches had presided. 
It was found to contain, on being read, a complaint of the injus- 
tice suffered by them in common with Eutyches, and a prayer 
for redress. Their confession of faith was demanded, and de- 
clared orthodox, and they were accordingly absolved from all 

Dioscorus, having carried this point, determined on a still 
bolder step. The Acts of the sixth Session of the Council of 

^ The constancj or apostacy of the 
Roman Legates in the matter of the 
'acquittal of Eutyches is a yery impor- 
tant question. The evidence seems to 
stand thus in their favour : — 1. S. 
Leo, in his Epistle to Pulcheria of Oct. 
13, 449, says : — " Our Legates — of 
whom one, (t. e, Hilarus) escaping the 
violence of the Bishop of Alexandria, 
who grasped at every thing, has faith- 
fully related to us the order of events, 
— protested in the Synod, as it was 
termed, against the judgment, it were 
more true to say the fury, of one man/' 
Hilarus himself writes, apparently at 
the same date, to Pulcheria, ** I could 
not participate in the will and decision 
of Dioscorus." 2. Hilarus was after- 
wards elevated to the chair of S. Peter: 
which could hardly have been the case 
had any shadow of imputation rested 
on his orthodoxy. 3. The Acts of the 
Latrocinium make no mention of the 
consent of the Papal Legates ; — a very 
strong argument in their favour. 4. It 
is certain that Hilarus protested against 
the condemnation of Flavian. These 
considerations appear perfectly satisfac- 
tory as to the firmness of Hilarus. 

The case is different with Julius and 
Dulcitius as to the condemnation of 
Flavian. 1. From the very fact that 

the Contradicitur of Hilarus is in- 
serted in the Acts, it seems to foUow, 
that, had the other Legates protested, 
their protest would also have been 
noticed. 2. Hilarus had to fly at 
once, for the sake of avoiding danger : 
it is hardly likely that his feUow Le- 
gates, had they followed his example, 
would have been suffered to remain 
peaceably. ^ Few, we imagine, will 
agree with the argument of Baronius, 
Si autem adeo gravia Hilarus L^atas 
passus est fiigiens, qusnam, putas, 
fuit conditio remanentium ? 3. There 
is a marked silence preserved by S. 
Leo, as to the conduct of his other 
Legates, while he loses no opportunity 
of praising the courage of Hilarus. 
If it be objected that he speaks of the 
constancy of his messengers, the use of 
the plural for the singular is too com- 
mon to render it safe to found an argu- 
ment on that peculiarity. It has been 
argued by some, and Baronius (449. c.) 
has fieJlen into the error, that Renatus, 
at least, stood firm, because a letter of 
Theodoret's is addressed to him, prais- 
ing his courage at Ephesus. But, as 
Pagi (449 ix.) shows, Renatus died at 
Delos on his passage out : and the letter 
of Theodoret's must have been misdi- 
rected by some of the copyists. 


Ephesus were^ at his request^ publicly read ; and he then de- 
manded^ whether those^ whose tenets were in opposition to those 
of that Synod, or of Nicsea, or who had added anything to, or 
subtracted anything from them, deserved condemnation or not ? . 
The Bishops declared that they deserved condemnation: the 
legates affirmed the same thing; still, though uselessly, pressing 
that the letter of Leo might be read to the Council. Diosoorus niowxirat 
proceeded, that the Holy Councils of Nicsea and Ephesus had coDdemna. 
already laid down the Faith j that Flavian and Eusebius had Flavian-.' 
been convicted of adding to the Creed of those Councils, to the 
subversion of all good order, and the scandal of the faith ; and that 
therefore these two Prelates were deprived of all dignity both 
Episcopal and Sacerdotal. The whole Council was thrown into an 
uproar : Flavian exclaimed, " I appeal '* : and Hilarus, Contra^ 
dicitur, Onesiphorus, Bishop of Iconium, with several others, 
threw himself at the feet of Dioscorus, beseeching him to proceed 
more slowly. "Flavian is deposed,^^ repUed Dioscorus : "were 
my tongue to be cut out for them, I would say no other words." 
And in the mean time, the Bishops went on signing the sen- 
tence. Onesiphorus, rendered desperate, urged his request in 
the strongest language : Dioscorus rising, cried, ^^ Where are he caiit in 
the Counts?" A body of armed men rushed in : swords waved, *™ 
staves fell, and chains clanked, among the Bishops. Barsumas 
and his herd of followers fell on his opponents, insulting, 
wounding, and maiming them. The greater part were terrified 
into subscription : some stood firm till evening, and then yielded ; 
a few, who were impracticable, were sent into exile. Flavian s. Flavian 
and Eusebius were thrown into prison : Hilarus escaped. Of 
all this violence, the Acts, as amended by Dioscorus, say not a 
word: they give the sentences of the various Prelates in the 
usual way : — ^and it is certain that through terror, or by persua- 
sion, many signed, among whom were Juvenal of Jerusalem, 
Domnus of Antioch, and the thrones of Ephesus and Csesarea. 
Of the conduct of the Legate Julius, we are not informed : if he 
did not acquiesce, it is certain that he ofiered no vigorous resist- 
ance. Three days afterwards, Dioscorus caused Domnus of An- 
tioch to be excommunicated in the Council: and on his way 
home, excommunicated S. Leo himself: causing this latter sen- 
tence to be subscribed by the ten Egyptian Bishops whom he had 


brought with him. From this time the power of the See of 
Alexandria declined^ never to rise again. 
s.Leora. When Leo was informed of the result of the CouBcil of 

Jccts the 

coundi. Ephesus^ for which he waited with anxiety during a long time, 
as Hilarus was compelled to choose the most circuitous routes 
for his return, he assembled a Synod at Kome, wherein all its 
Acts were condemned. He wrote strongly on the conduct of 
Dioscorus to Theodosius, who paid no great attention to this 
communication, but requested Leo to communicate with Ana- 
tolius, the successor of the deposed Flavian. The latter was 
dead in banishment, having never recovered the violence of Bar- 
sumas : and he is reckoned by the Church among the Martyrs. 
On the propriety of acceding to the. request of Theodosius, S. 
Leo suspended his judgment, but did not fail to instigate Valen- 
tinian. Emperor of the West, to demand the assembling an 
(Ecumenical Council. Shortly after the receipt of this letter, 
Theodosius departed this life; his sister Pulcheria gave her 
hand to Marcian, who was forthwith raised to the imperial 
^.^.460. The new Emperor was strictly orthodox : and from the very 
Emperor, beginning of his reign determined to r&psir the faults of his 
predecessor. A Council was held at Constantinople, in which 
Anatolius anathematized Eutyches and his adherents, the Pope's 
Legates assisting : the body of S. Flavian was translated with 
all honour to his own church. Marcian wrote to S. Leo, pro- 
posing the convention of an (Ecumenical Council : the Pope was 
not so well inclined to the project, on account of the then dis- 
turbed state of the West ; but the resolution of the Emperor 
prevailed. An imperial edict assembled Bishops from all parts 
of the East, at Nicsea. Legates were despatched by Leo, who 
also wrote four letters on the subject, two to Marcian, one to Ana- 
tolius, and one to the Council. He recommends that no discus- 
sion should be allowed on points already ruled in the three 
(Ecumenical Synods : that the Bishops deposed by the second 
Council, or as it was generally termed, the Robbers' Meeting of 
Epheaus, should be restored to their Sees : and that the greatest 
lenity should be shown to those who should renounce the 
Eutychian heresy, and express their scH'row for the past. 




The Fathers were assembled at Nicaea, when they received a a.d. 46i. 

"^ , , The Fathers 

letter from the Emperor, requesting them to suspend their deli- aaaembie at 
berations till he could be present \ and on their soon after repre- 
senting to him, that this detention from their flocks was ex- 
tremely inconvenient to them, he requested them to come to 
Chalcedon, alleging that he could not on account of the threat- 
ened attacks of the Huns, absent himself for any time, or to 
any great distance, from Constantinople. 

To Chalcedon, therefore, the Fathers resorted : and found that they repair 

. . . . toChalce- 

the church of S. Euphemia, situated at a little distance from don. 
the city, and on the borders of the sea, was the place appointed 
for their meeting. Historians dwell with delight on the ravish- 
ing beauty of the prospect. The ground in front, well wooded 
in some parts, in others laid out in beautiful meadows, or 
rich with harvests, sloped down to the Propontis : beyond 
the strait, sometimes like a mirror of glass, sometimes rippling 
in the wind, rose, with its abbeys, its palaces, and its churches, 
conspicuous among which were those of the Holy Resurrection 
and of the Divine Wisdom, the Imperial city of Constantinople : 
behind was a stately amphitheatre of mountains, clothed with 
forest trees to the summit. The number of the assembled 
Fathers was far larger than in any other (Ecumenical Coimcil ; 
at Nicsea there had been three hundred and eighteen ; at Con- 
stantinople, a hundred and fifty ; at Ephesus, more than two 
hundred : but at Chalcedon there were six hundred and thirty. 
The magistrates, to the number of nineteen, were seated before 
the Altar rails ; on the left, the Catholic Bishops, in order thus : 
the legates of the Pope, the Ttrones of Constantinople, An- 
tioch, Csesarea, and Ephesus : with the Bishops of Asia, Pontus, 
and Thrace. On the opposite side were Dioscorus of Alexan- 
dria, Juvenal of Jerusalem, and the Bishops of Illyria, Palestine, 


and Egypt. The Book of the (rospels^ symbolising the Presence 
of the Saviour^ was^ as at Ephesus^ placed in the middle, 
sessioii I., The first session took place on the eighth of October. It was 
A.D.45I. opened by a protest on the part of the legates, that Diosconis 
ought not to be admitted to the Council. By the order of the 
magistrates, the accused Bishop left his place, and seated himself 
as defendant in the midst of the assembly. Eusebius of Dory- 
Iseum advancing as plaintiff, conjured the Fathers that the me- 
morial which he had drawn up might be read ; in it he charged 
Dioscorus with having violated the Faith of Nicsea, condemned 
himself and Flavian unjustly, and supported the heresy of 
Eutyches : it concluded with a demand that the Acts of the 
Pseudo-Council of Ephesus might be read. Dioscorus at first 
agreed in this demand ; but instantly after urged the previous 
discussion of the question of Faith. The magistrates, however, 
decided that the Acts should be read : they were accordingly 
begun when Theodoret, by the command of the civil authority, 
took his place in the Council. His entrance gave the signal for an 
uproar. ''Out with the Nestorian!^' cried the Egyptian Pre- 
lates : '' the Faith is violated : Theodoret is banished &om the 
Council by the Canons : long life to the Empress ! out with 
Theodoret, who anathematized Cyril ! ^* '' Out with Dioscorus V' 
shouted the Oriental Prelates : '' out with the murderer ! with 
the man who summoned the Counts ! the man who made us sign 
a blank paper !^^ Theodoret stood firm in the midst, and de- 
manded a patient hearing : the magistrates, having with diffi- 
culty appeased the tumult, decided that he should be received as 
a plaintiff : observing that this could in no way violate the rights 
of the Council. The tumult increased: the magistrates at length 
composed it by commenting on the want of Episcopal dignity 
which it involved : and the acts of the Pseudo-Council were read, 
though not without many interruptions. The Prelates who had 
signed the deposition of Flavian protested that they had done 
so through fear : Stephen of Ephesus in particular stated, that 
the number of soldiers and monks employed in intimidating the 
assembly was about three hundred^ : and that he had not been 

^ This seems to be at variance with imagine three hundred persons only to 
what other historians say of the thou- have entered the church, the others 
sand monks of Barsumas. But we may remaining outside. 


allowed to leave the church, until he subscribed a sheet of blank 
paper, afterwards attached to the sentence of deposition. All 
bore witness to the violence of the conduct of Dioscorus ; to his 
refusal to hear the letters of Leo ; to the effacing the true Acts 
of the Council, by breaking the tablets of the notaries of some 
of the GathoUc Bishops. Dioscorus taunted his accusers with 
their confession of having done through terror that which their 
conscience disapproved. The Orientals three times confessed 
their fault, and begged for pardon. 

It' must be confessed, that however grievous had been the 
jEault, and unwarrantable — even had it been exercised for the 
Truth — the conduct of Dioscorus, he deserves at least the credit 
of great courage and presence of mind, and of not having been 
wanting to himscK in his great extremity. During the whole 
time consumed in the reading of the Acts, he defended himself 
in every defensible action, put the fairest gloss on his violent de- 
meanour, and turned the confession of his adversaries to the 
best account. Each succeeding step, however, only served the 
more clearly to expose his guilt : the creed of Flavian, as ex- 
posed in the Council of Ephesus, was found perfectly orthodox, 
and in conformity with that of S. Cyril ; and towards the con- 
clusion of the session, Juvenal of Jerusalem passed over to the 
side of the CathoUc Prelates, amidst loud acclamations : Peter 
of Corinth followed his example, and was received with shouts 
of Peter holds the Faith of Peter : and he was imitated by 
the Bishops of Macedonia, and even by some of Egypt. Dios- 
corus, reduced to despair, exclaimed, '' They are condemning 
the Fathers as well as me ; I have passages from Athanasius 
and from Cyril which forbid us to speak of Two Natures after 
the Incarnation.^' The Acts of Ephesus were continued : Dios- 
corus, knowing that the conclusion of that Synod would tell 
more fearfully against him than anything else, remarked that, 
as it was growing dark, it would be better to postpone the con- 
clusion to another time : the magistrates would not consent ; 
and the Acts were concluded by torch-light. 

When they were finished, the Oriental Prelates cried out as 
one man, ^^ Anathema to Dioscorus I Let the deposer be de- 
posed! Long life to Leo! long life to the Patriarch !'' The 
magistrates announced that the question of the Faith would be 


examined in another session : and proceed to pronounce s^itence 
to the following effect : That as from the Acts of the Conncil of 
Ephesus it appeared that Flavian of blessed memory^ and the 
holy Bishop Eusebius^ had been unjustly deposed^ it appeared 
good to themselves^ as well-pleasing to Gon^ if the EmpercHr 
consented^ that Dioscorus of Alexandria^ Juvenal of Jerusalem, 
and the Bishops of Csesarea, Ancyra^ Berytus, and Seleucia, 
should^ as presidents or chief movers of that Council, undergo the 
same penalty, and be deprived, according to the Canons, of Episco- 
pal dignity. It seems to have been understood, that the depriva- 
tion of the five latter Bishops would only, in case of acknowledg- 

DioBooras ment of their fault, be iaSidei pro forma. The first Session 

tisans ' terminated by the reiterated oonfes»on of their fault by the 
Bishops of lUyria, and a confused outburst of exclamations. 
"Long years to the Senate !'' '^ Holy Gon, Holy and Mighty, 
Holy and Immortal, have mercy on us !^' " Long years to the 
Emperor and Empress I" " Christ hath deposed Dioscorus ! ^* 
" Christ hath deposed the homicide ! '^ " God hath vindicated 
His Martyrs ! '^ 

Session iL, At the b^iniung of the Second, which was held two days 
afterwards, the question of faith was debated. The creeds of 
Nicsea and Constantinople were first read, — ^then the letters of 
S. Cyril to Nestorius and to John of Antioch : and at the end 
of each, the Fathers professed their entire acquiescence in its 

Tome of s. doctrincs. After these preUminaries, a Greek Translation of the 

Leo read. * 

famous letter of S. L^ to S. Flavian was read, and some ex- 
ceptions were made to the passages where it states, in strong 
terms, the doctrine of Two Natures. The parts which gave 
offence were in the third and fourth sections.^ 

The orthodoxy of these disputed passages was proved by a re- 
ference to the works (rf S. Cyril, in the first two instances by 
Actius, Archdeacon of Constantinople; and in the third by 
Theodoret. At the conclusion of the letter, the Fathers ex- 
claimed, " It is the faith of the Apostles ! our Creed is the 
same ! Anathema to them that gainsay ! S. Peter hath spoken 

^ Ante, p. 284. "To pay the debt to p. 286, "the other yields to injn- 

of ovir condition/' down to "might ries " : and p. 287, "For, albeit" 

not be able to die from the other '' : p. down to " equal with the Father.'' 
285,4kf/fi. "For each form," down 


by Leo V^ Some of the more cautious Prelates^ however, re- 
quested time for the more careful comparison of this letter with 
other writings of the Fathers, and in particular with the Twelve 
Anathemas of S. Cyril : and five days were allowed for this pur- 
pose, Anatolius having it in charge to hold public meetings, for 
the further explanation of Leo^s sentiments, and the clearing up 
any difficulty which might occur to the minds of the more scru« 
pulous or less-informed among the Bishops. The Session ended 
in confusion. The Eutychianizing party shouted, ^^ The Fathers 
to the Synod !" '^ Dioscorus to the Council !" " Dioscorus to 
the churches!^* — ^Their opponents were equally ready with " Dios- 
corus to exile V* '^ The Egyptian to exile 1 " '^ He .that commu- 
nicates with Dioscorus is a Jew V^ — Order having been restored 
by the magistrates, the Session terminated. 

The third Session was held three days later : the five days session in., 
fixed by the magistrates having nothing to do with the judgment 
of Dioscorus, which was now to come on, but ordy with the 
pure question of Faith. The magistrates were not present : and 
Dioscorus absented himself. Aetius, Archdeacon of Constanti- 
nople, opened the Session by informing the Council that Euse- 
bius of Dorylseum had drawn up a memorial, which he requested 
might be read. In it he represented the great violei^ce which 
had been done both to the Canons and to justice, in the depo- 
sition of himself and of Flavian, and petitioned the Council 
that the punishment inflicted on Dioscorus might be signal, 
to serve as a warning to future offenders. Dioscorus was ordered 
to attend: Aetius informed the Council that he had already 
been advertised of its Session, and had promised to come, if his 
guards would allow him. On this, search was made for him out- iMoscoms 

1 i->n 1 1 TT 1 • Ti cited a first. 

Side the Church, but to no purpose. He was then canonically 
cited a first time by three Bishops, and refused to come ; firstly, 
on the groimd that the guards would not permit him, and 
secondly, that the magistrates were not present at the Session, as 
they ought to be, he said, in order that the accusations against 
him might be fairly examined. A second citation was met by the 5!JJe"®^°"^ 
same excuse, joined to which was a plea of illness. He further 
inquired if Juvenal and the other deposed Bishops were assist- 
ing at the Council : the deputies replied, that on this point they 
were not instructed to answer. 


His aoenfen The Council being acquainted witli these proceedings^ received, 
in the nert place, a deputation of clerks and of laics from Alex- 
andria, charged with several memorials against Dioscorus. The 
accusations brought against him were of a very serious character: 
they included wanton destruction of property, homicide, wilful 
misappropriation of the Church's goods to his own pleasures, 
overbearing and cruel conduct to his Priests, and, lastly, an openly 
licentious life. Nor did the executors of 8. Cyril fail to bring 
forward the hardships and injustice they had suffered at his 

DioMonu Dioscorus was then, for the third and last time, summoned to 

time, * appear : the citation was in writing : and bore in addition, that if 
the defendant did not appear, he would be condemned as contuma- 
cious. Dioscorus rephed, that he had nothing to add to what he 
had already said, and repeated this answer seven times. On the 
commissioners' report, the legates pronounced sentence to the 
following effect : THiat whereas Dioscorus had been guilty of vari- 
ous excesses, clearly proved to the Council : had admitted to his 
Communion Eutyches, deprived by his Bishop : had persisted in 
defending, instead of asking pardon for, his conduct at Ephesus; 
had excommunicated Pope Leo ; and being duly cited thrice, had 
refused to appear and answer for his misdeeds ; therefore the 
Most Holy Archbishop of Rome, with the Apostle S. Peter, by the 

and deposed. Lcg&tes, and the assembled Council, adjudged him to be deprived 
of all Episcopal Dignity, and the sacerdotal office. This sentence 
was subscribed by the Legates, the Patriarchal Thrones, and the 
Bishops in order : and with it terminated the third Session of 
the Council of Chalcedon. 



r-^ END OF VOL. I. 







Abilius, S., Patriarch * . . . 


Abreha and Atzbeha, SS. .... 

. 155 

Achillas, S., Patriarch .... 


^milian assumes the purple at Alexandria 


^ra of Martyrs .... 


Agrippinus, S., Patriarch .... 


Alexander, S., Patriarch .... 


encyclic epistle of, against Arius 

. 126 

his Tome .... 


his death .... 

. 151 

writes to S. Alexander of Byzantium 


Alexandria, Church of, founded by S. Mark 


the Third See . 


Great Plague at . 


Council of . 


Council of 

. 193 

Council of, against Arius 


Second ditto .... 

. 119 

Third ditto . . . 


Arian persecution at . . . 

. 186 

Ambrose, the friend of Origen 


Anastasius teaches that S. Mary is not Theotocos 

. 235 

Anathemas, the Twelve, of S. Cyril . 


Andronicns excommunicated by Synesius 

. 224 

Anomceans, their rise .... 


Anianus, S., his conversion .... 


he succeeds S. Mark 


Antony, S., his birth .... 

. 107 

he embraces the solitary life 


his temptations .... 

. 109 

in the Castle .... 





Antony, S., bis disciples .... 

. Ill 

visits S. Paul .... 


his death .... 

. 187 

Antioch, Great Schism at . . • 


Council of . 

. 175 

Apollonia, S., her Martyrdom 


Apollonius, S.y his Martyrdom .... 


Apostates, reception of . 


Arabic Canons of Nicsea .... 

. 149 

Arcaph, John, the Meletian 


Arianism, causes of its rapid rise 

. 120 

Arius joins Meletius .... 


elevated to the Priesthood ' . 

. 114 

rise of his heresy .... 


he is anathematised .... 

. 120 

in Palestine . . . . . 


his death ..... 


ArseniuR, Bishop of H3q)sele, his pretended murder 


Asclas, S.y his Martyrdom .... 


Athanasius, S., his education 


Patriarch .... 

. 152 

his canonical election . 


visits his Dioecese 

. 157 

is threatened by Eusebius 


he goes to Tyre .... 

. 163 

is accused of fornication 


is acquitted .... 

. 165 

produces Arsenius 


deposed .... 

. 167 

goes to Constantinople 


is banished .... 

. 169 

at Treves .... 


returns to Alexandria 

. 172 

goes to Rome 


returns to Alexandria 

. 175 

goes again to Rome . 


is recalled .... 

. 182 

goes to Antioch 


to Alexandria .... 

. 183 

goes into the desert 


his letter to the Monks 

. 190 

returns to Alexandria . 


again exiledj .... 

. 195 

' returns .... 


again exiled .... 

. 197 

returns .... 


death of ... . 

. 200 

Athenagoras ..... 


Axum, Metropolis of Ethiopia . 

. 156 



Basileidefl, S., his Martyrdom 
Basil, S., his opmion of S. Dionysius 
Besas, S., 

Bithynia, Pseudo Council of 
Brothers, the Long, at Constantinople 
Bull, Bishop, defends S. Dionysius 







Ceesarea, Council of . 

Candidian protests against the Council of Ephesus 
Caracalla, his orders for a massacre at Alexandria 
Cassian in Egypt 

writes on the Incarnation 
Catechetical School, of Alexandria . 
Celadion, S., Patriarch 
Celestine, Pope, S., applied to by Nestorius 

condemns Nestorius . 
Cerdo, S., Patriarch 

Chalcedon, Council of, Fourth (Ecumenical 
Clement of Alexandria 
Coluthus, his schism 
he recants 
Coluthium, in the Mareotis 
Confessors in the Decian persecution . 
Cpnstantine, Emperor 

his letters to Alexander and Arius 
Constantine, his death 

Constantinople, Council of, Second (Ecumenical 
Council of Alexandria against Origen 
Creed of Eusebius 

Cronion, S. . 

Cyrilla, S., her Martyrdom 
Cyril; S., his early studies 
his election 
attacks Novatians 
quarrels with Orestes 
received to Communion with Rome 
attacks Nestorianism in his XVII. Paschal Epistle 
his first letter to Nestorius . 
his second letter 
his third letter 
goes to Ephesus 
returns to Alexandria 
negotiations with John of Antioch 
is reconciled with him 
dies .... 
Cyrus and John, SS., their Martyrdom 



















Decinsy his penecution 
DemetriuSy S., Patriarch . 

remonstrates with Alexander 
his death 
Did3rmu8, S. . . . . 

his vision 
Diocletian, commencement of his persecution 

he abdicates 
Dion3rsiay S. . . . . 

Dionysius, S., Patriarch 

his polemical powers 
leaves Alexandria 
writes to Origen on Martyrdom 
confesses before ^milian • 

attacked by Hermanns 
accused of Arianism to Dionysius of Rome 
condemned in Council 
composes an apology . 

his letter to Paul of Samosata not genuine 
his death 
Dioscorus, S., his confession 
Dioscorus, Patriarch 

his immorality 
his violence . 

presides at Ephesus 
is deposed 
Donatus, S., and his companions, their Martyrdom 

Ephesus, Council of. Third CEcumenical . 

First Session 

Second Session 

Third and Fourth Session . 

Robbers' Meeting at 
Epiphanias, S., assists Theophilus against S. Chrysostom 
Eumenius, S., Patriarch 
Eusebius, Christian charity of . 

Eusebius of Nicomedia, his character 

his intrigues at Nicsea 
deposes S. Eustathius 
Eusebius of Dorylseum attacks Nestorius 
Eustathius, S., of Antioch 
Eutychius, his account of the twelve Presbyters 
Eutyches, rise of his heresy 
Evangelical See, a title of Alexandria 










* 45 




































Fabius of Antioch 

Flavian, S., of Constantinople, condemns Eutyches . 
is condemned • 



Flavian, S., is murdered 
Frumentius, S., goes into Ethiopia . • 

is appointed Metran 

George, Arian Bishop of Alexandria 

he is murdered 
Gregory of Cappadocia, Arian Bishop of Alexandria 

his outrages 

Heraclasy S., is associated with Origen 

Hexapla, the . . • • 

Hilarion, S. . . • 

Homousion, the, proposed 
Hosius goes to Alexandria 

Hypatia, her murder . . . 

Hypostases, Question of One or Three 

Irene, the courtezan . . . • 

Isidore of Scete, S. . 



Ischyras, his history • • 

Jerome, S., his accoimt of the twelve Presbyters 
John of Antioch expected at Ephesus 

deposes S. Cyril 
Julian, S., Patriarch .... 

his Martyrdom 
Julian the Apostate, Emperor . 
Julius, Pope, S., his reception of S. Athanasius 

his negociations with the Eusebians . 
Justus, S., Patriarch 

Kefro, Desert of . 

Leo, S., writes to Diosoorus 

his celebrated Letter to S. Flavian 

opposes the convocation of an CEcumenical^Council 
Leonidas, S., his Martyrdom 
Licinius, his persecution . 
Lucius, Arian Bishop of Alexandria 

persecutes the Catholics 

Macar, S. . 

Macarius, S. . 

Marcian, S., Patriarch 

Marcian, Emperor 

Marius Mercator .... 

Mareotis, Commission of Inquiry in 

Mark, S., goes to Egjrpt 

















Mark, S., goes to Rome . 

his Martyrdom 
Maximus, S., Patriarch . 
Maximin, his persecution 
Melania, S., in Egypt 
Melas, S., of Rhinocomra 
Meletian schism, rise of . 
Meletins condemned 
Metras, S., his Martyrdom 
Moyses, Bishop of the Saracens 
Mysticism, tendency of Alexandria to 

Nestorius, his early life . 

he is consecrated Patriarch of Constantinople 

origin of his heresy 

replies to S. Proclus . 

his first letter to S. Cyril 

his second . * • * 



his miserable death 
Nicsea, Council of . 

Nile-gauge removed from the Temple of Serapis 
Novatian, his schism 

is joined by the Confessors 

answered by S. Dionjrsius 
Nubia, Church of, its origin doubtful 

Oak, Synod of the 
Orestes attacked by S. Cyril 
Origenian controversy 
Origen, his birth 

his education 

succeeds to Alexandrian school 

his mistaken zeal . 

he goes to Rome 

visits Arabia 

his misunderstanding with Demetrius 

ordained Priest 

his orthodoxy and errors 
Oxyrinchus, City of, its holiness 

Paganism destroyed in Egypt 
Palestine, Martyrs in 
Peunbo, S. • 

Pantsenus, S. . • • 

goes to India 








































Faphnutius, S. . . . . 

Paschal letters, their origin . . 

Paschal Cycle of S. Dionysius . 

Paulinus, Bishop of the High Catholic party at Antioch . 

Paul the Simple, S. . 

Paul, S., the first hermit 

his death .... 
Paul of Samosata, his heresy 
Peter, S., Patriarch, his birth . 

his penitential Canons 
his Martyrdom 
Peter, S., his Martyrdom . 
Peter II., Patriarch . 

goes to Rome 


consecrates Mazimus 


not reckoned among the Saints 
Phileas, S., his exhortation on Martyrdom 

his Martyrdom 
Philip, Augustal prefect 

his Martyrdom .... 
Philumenus aspires to the empire 
Philemon, S., his Martyrdom 

Pisper, Mount .... 

Pistus, Arian Bishop of Alexandria . 
Potamisena, S., her Martyrdom . . • 

Primus, S., Patriarch . . • 

Proclus, S., a candidate for the Throne of Constantmople 
preaches on the Incarnation 

































Quinta, S., her Martyrdom 


Rimini, Council of 

Sabellian heresy, its rise . 

Sardica, Council of . 

Selden, his Commentary on Eusebius 

Seleucia, Council of 

Serapion, S., his Martyrdom 

Serapis, Temple of, its destruction 

Severus, persecution of 

Sheba, Queen of, founds the Salomonsean Dynasty 

Siderius, Bishop of Palebisea 

Simon the Canaanite, S., preaches the Gospel in Egypt 

Socrates, legend of . . • 

Synesius, Bishop of Ptolemais . 








Theodoret supports Nestorius . 

Thalia, the, of Anus 

Theodora, S. . . . 

Theonas, S., Patriarch 

his Epistle to Lucian 
his death 

Theonas, Meletian Bishop 

Theophilus, Patriarch 

destroys the Temple of Serapis 
goes to Constantinople . 
consecrates S. John Chrysostom 
attacks the Anthropomorphites 
his cruelty to Isidore 
goes to Constantinople . 
deposes S. Chrysostom 
flies for his life 
his death 

Therapeutse, the 

Timothy, Patriarch 

goes to Constantinople 

Tjrre, Council of 

Valens, persecution of 
Valerian, his persecution . 
his death 






Aaron-al Raschid 

Aba Hamoul of Wissim, confession of 

Abbot, Archbishop, his first letter to Cyril Lucar 

Abdel-Aziz persecutes the Jacobites 




Abdel Messiah, Patriarch 
Abdei Messiahj Patriarch 

his Canons 

he is thrown into prison 
Abnnegiah, Martyrdom of . 
Abubeker, Caliph 
Acephali . ... 

the greater part join the Jacobites 
^lums, see Timothy the Cat 
Agatho, Patriarch 

AbbasidB, Rise of . . . 

Alexander^ Patriarch 

carried through the country to obtain a ransom 

visits his dioecese . . 

Alexander II. Patriarch 
Alexandria taken by Cosroes 

Capture of, by the Saracens 

Catholic See of, Vacant for seventy years 


Sack of, by the Spaniards 

Capture of, by Peter of Cyprus 
Alfter, Patriarch 

Ali, religious disputes with respect to 
Almamon, Caliph 
Amru enters Egypt 

Antioch, schism with the Jacobite See of 
Anaatasiiu Apozygariutf Patriarch 
AndronicuSf Patriarch . 
Apollinarius, attempt of 
ApoUinaris, Patriarch 
Apostacy, Canons concerning 
Apostacy, general 
Arabia, state of, at era of Mahomet 










































Anneniaxis, toleration of their Schism by the Jacobites 

Arsenian schism . 

Arsenius, Patriarch . . 

Asabah, sacrilege and death of 

Athananus, Patriarch 

Athanasius III., Patriarch 

his negociations with the Arsenians for the 

his adventures in Greece 
Athanasius IV., Patriarch 
AziZf Sultan . • . • 

Baldwin, King of Jerusalem, in Egypt 
Barreto, Nuno, Latin Patriarch 
Barsanuphians, their reunion with the Jacobites 
Basiliscus the Emperor, his circular letter 
Beccus, Patriarch of Constantinople 
Benjamirij Patriarch 

recelTes a letter of safety from Amru 
Benjamin U., Patriarch 
Bermudiez, Latin Patriarch 
Bethlehem, Coimcil of • 
Bogomili, heresy of the 
Bondocdar, Sultan • 

Brzesc, Council of . 

Cairo, Council of, against Cyril-ben-laklak 
Cairo, Coimcil of» against Rome 
Caliphate, decline of the 
Cat, Timothy the 
Chail /., Patriarch 

imminent danger and courage of 

he is put to the torture 

pronoimces the prayer of absolution 

is set at liberty 

his firmness 

dies .... 

Chail I., Patriarch 
Chail ILt Patriarch 
Chail II., Patriarch 

his crimes • . • 

Chail IIL, Patriarch 

he deposes the Bishop of Saka 
is thrown into prison 
raises money by Simony 
ChaillV.f Patriarch 
Chail V.f Patriarch 
Chail VI. t Patriarch 
Chenouda L, Patriarch . 

he is accused of heresy 


• • 




• • 



• « 



he reunion 



■ « 






. i 

. 137 


. i 



• a 



. 1 

. 347 



. 241 



. 361 


. 302 





. 1 


. a- 



. 116 






. 122 



. 154 



. 236 



. 170 



. 171 



, 231 


. 4 



* I 





Chenouda L, retires into the country 

• • • 

. 160 

ia committed to prison 



• • ■ 

. 169 

Chenouda II. , Patriarch 


his perjury 

• • • 


and Simony 


Chiracou, Grenend in Egypt 

• • • 

. 253 

Christopher, Patriarch 


Claudius, Emperor . 

• • • 

. 349 

his defeat and death 


Confessional Controversy, rise of 

• • • 

. 261 

Constantinople, false Council of, against Images 


Constantinople, Council of, sixth (Ecumenical 


Corrupticolae, their origin 

• • 


Ootmat /., Patriarch 

• • • 


a prisoner 

• • 


Cosmas I., Patriarch 

• • • 


goes to Damascus 



Cosmaa II. t Patriarch 

• • • 

. 155 

Cosmas JII.^ Patriarch 

• • 


Cosroes, conquests of 

• • • 


takes Alexandria 

• • 


defeated by Heraclius 

• • • 


Covilhaa in Ethiopia 

• • 


Crete, state of, in the sixteenth century 

■ • • 

. 357 

Crusade, the first 

• • 


Cyril II. J Patriarch 

• • • 

. 222 

Canons of 

• • 


Cyril II., Patriarch 

• • • 


VyriUben-laklak, Patriarch 

• • 


his Crimes . 

• • • 

. 299 

he ordains a Bishop 1 

for Jerusalem 


imprisoned . 

• • • 

. 302 

his Canons 

• • 


wretched death 

• • • 


Cyril Lucar, his birth 

• • 


goes to Alexandria 

• • • 

. 358 

ordained Priest 

• • 


legate in Poland 

• • • 

. 363 

becomes acquainted with Von Haga 


goes to Constantinople 

• • ■ 

. 365 

begins to embrace Protestant tenets 


corresponds with Uytenbogaert 

. 367 

goes to Wallachia 

• • 


progress of his apostasy 

• • • 


at the Holy Mountain 

• • 


anathematizes the Roman Missionaries 

. 384 

his first Letter to Abbot 

• ■ 


to de Dommis 

• • • 

. 390 



Cyril Lucar, his intimacy with Le Leu Wilhem 

shnts himself up during the great Plague at Cairo 

Patriarch of Constantinople 

attacks the Jesuits 

banished to Rhodes 


his confession 

his friendship with M. Leger 

his interview with De Marchville 

banished to Rhodes 

restored • ■ • 

his murder 

and character . 

Cyrus at Constantinople 
Cyrus, Patriarch 

his false union with the Jacobites . 

Damianugf Patriarch 
Damietta, capture of, by John de Brienne 
loss of . . 

capture of, by $■ Louis 
loss of . 

David of Fayoumj his intrigues for the Patriarchate 


he again intrigues 
is again defeated 

is successful, and takes the name of Cyril 
Dionysius, Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch 
Dioscorus II. , 

Dositheans, condemned by S. Eulogius 
Dunaan» persecution of . 

Ecthesis, the . . . 

Egypt, invasion of, by the Spanish Ommiadse . 
Election of Jacobite Patriarchs, method of 
Elesbaan, Saint, defeats Dunaan 

his character 
Elias, Patriarch 



Elmacinus, character of his history . 

England, conversion of 

Ephraim, Patriarch 
murder of . 

Ethiopia, attempt to increase the number of Sees in 

Eulogius, S., Patriarch 

condemns the Dositheans 
corresponds with S. Gregory 
his death 

Eulogius II., Patriarch 

Eustathius, Patriarch 




































Entychians, difference between, and Monophysites 
Eutychins, Patriarch 

his writings 

his disputes with his people 

Famine, a horrible 
Fatimidse, rise of the 

they conquer Egypt 

fell of the 
Florence, Council of 
Francis, S., in Egypt 

Gabriell.f Patriarch 

his exactions 
Gabriel IT. f Patriarch 

his Canons 
Gabriel VI. f Patriarch 
Gabriel VIL, Patriarch . 
Gaianuit Anti-Patriarch 
Gaianites, rebaptized by the Jacobites 
Gama, Christopher de, his expedition 

his death 
George, Patriarch 



Gerasimus Spartaliotes, Patriarch 

his firmness 
Gregory I., Patriarch 
Gregory II., Patriarch 
Gregory III., Patriarch 
Gregory IV., Patriarch . 
Gregory V., Patriarch 
Gregory S., of Antioch, falsely accused 
Gragne, death of . 

Hakem, his superstition . 
his madness 

he is adored as a divinity J. 
Hamarowia, Emir 

marries his daughter to the Caliph 
is murdered 
Heikeliet, the . 
Helena, Regent of Ethiopia 
Homeritffi, church of the 

embrace Nestorianism . 

Honorius, Pope, anathematized 

Iconoclastic Controversy 
IsaaCj Patriarch 

his death . • 

Isaac, Patriarch > • 



























Jacob L, Patriarch 
Jacobites, their various Sects 
origin of the name 
James the Just, of Aragon 
Jeremiah S., Martyrdom of 
Joachim, Patriarch . • • 

Job, Patriarch . 
John Talaia, Patriarch 

he is banished 

vain endeavours for his restoration 
John /., Patriarch 
John I., Patriarch 
John 11, f Patriarch 
John, S. the Almoner, Patriarch 

his almsdeeds 

his justice 

anecdotes of . 

he leaves Alexandria 

his death 
John m., 8eamMdteu8, Patriarch 

he dies 
John of Nidus, deposed for cruelty 
John III., Patriarch 
John IV., Patriarch 
John V.f Patriarch 
John VLy Patriarch 
John Vn,, Patriarch 
John vnLy Patriarch 
John IX, , Patriarch 
John X,, Patriarch , 
John XL, Patriarch 
John XII, Patriarch 
John XIIL, Patriarch 

Kahad, martyrdom of 
Kamd, Sultan 

his justice 
Kilus, Abuna of Axum 

his imposition 

his degradation 
Korban, form of . 

Lalibala, Saint . 

Le Leu WUhem, his intimacy with Cyril Lucar 

Leger, M., his friendship with Cyril Lucar 

Leontius, Patriarch 

Louis, S., in Egypt 

Lyons, Council of . . 

Macarius of Antioch condemned 



. 323 

. 347 














. 129 

. 270 

. 322 


. 347 












MaeariuSf Patriarch 

. 183 

MacariusIL, Patriarch .... 


Maffndi, defeat and death of . 

. 345 

Mahometanism, rise of . 


Makrizi, character of his history 

. 333 

Malahar, deputation from, to Alexandria 


Mamelukes, accession of ... . 

. 310 

Marianus, commander of the Roman forces 


Mark-ben -Kunhar maintains confession . 

. 262 

is excommunicated 


submits . . . . 

. 263 

joins the Catholics 


recants . . . . 

. 266 

again joins them . 


dies . . . . 

. 266 

Mark 11. f Patriarch .... 


charity of . . . . 

. 189 

Mark II., Patriarch .... 


Mark IIL, Patriarch . . . . 

. , 270 

Mark III., Patriarch .... 


Mark IV,, Patriarch 

. 327 

Marriage, heresy respecting 


Married Patriarch, attempt to intrude one 


Martin, Saint, confession of . . . 


Matthew, his mission to Portugal 

. 343 

his misfortunes .... 


his honourable reception 

. 345 

Maximus, S., attacks the Monothelites 


his death 


Melchites, origin of the term 


Melee Segued, Emperor 

. 354 

Meruan, the last of the Eastern Ommiat^se 


his defeat and death 

. 118 

Metaxa, Nicolas, his arrival at Constantinople . 


his imminent danger 

• 429 

taken under the British protection 


Metrophanes Critopulus, Patriarch 

. 446 

Metropolitans, creation of . 


Michael I., of Antioch, on Confession 

• 264 

Minos /., Patriarch .... 


Minas II. j Patriarch 

. 187 

Misra, Council of . . . . 


ongm of . . . . 


Council of ... . 


Council of . 

. 226 

Emirate, defects of the . 


Monophysites, difference between, and Eutychians . 


Monothelitism, rise of . 


decline of . • 




Moscow a Patriarchate 

Moses of Wissim threatens Kacem 

his firmness in persecution 




Naod, Emperor 
Nekam, his apostacy 

his martyrdom 
Nicsea, II. Council of (so called) VII. (Ecumenical 
Nicolas I., Patriarch 

his correspondence with Innocent III. 

his correspondence with Honorius 
Nile, miracle said to have been wrought by Chail I. 
Niphon, Patriarch 
Nubia, its first ecclesiastical mention . 

(Ecumenical Judge, origin of the appellation 
Oil and salt, question of mingling in the oblations 
Omar, Caliph .... 
Ommiadse, downfal of 

Paul, Patriarch . 

his tyranny 

and deposition 
Persecution I. under Abdel-Aziz 
II. under Asabah 

III. under Abdallah . 

IV. under Korah and Theodore 
V. under Asama 

VI. under Hafiz 
VII. under Mutewakel 
VIII. under Abdallah 
IX. under Ahmed 
X. under Hakem 
XI. under Nacer ben Kelaoun 
Peter Mongus^ Patriarch 

he receives the Henoticon 
he persecutes the Catholics 
Peter, Catholic Legate in Trullo 
Peter II.. Patriarch 
Peter, Metropolitan of Azum 

he is made Regent of Ethiopia 
he is banished 
Peter F"., Patriarch . 
Phantasiasts, origin of the name 
Philotheus. See Greorge 
Phihtheus, Patriarch 
his crimes 
his miserable death 





































Philotheus, Patriarch . . 

his negotiation for the reunion 
his rejection of it 
Piga, Meletiiu, goes to Alexandria 
Patriarch . 

his correspondence with Sigismund III. 
Politian, Patriarch . ... 

goes to Bagdad 
Portngoese first visit Ethiopia 
Prester, John, origin of the name 
Proterius, Saint, his consecration 

his correspondence with S. Leo 
his martyrdom . . • 

PsoVns, murder of . 

















Beformation, articles of, for Jacobites 


Saada, Empress of Ethiopia . . . . .197 

Sabas, Patriarch ..... 228 

Saladin, Vizir . - . . . . . 255 

Saladin, commencement of .... 269 

Sultan ...... 261 

his yirtaes » . . . . 268 

his death . . . . . .271 

Schisms, the yarious, between the Jacobites of Alexandria and Antioch 28 

Schism, the great, between the East and West . . .217 

SeQukidK, rise of the ..... 231 

Sendafa, apostacy of the Bishop of . . . • 305 

Sevems, Bishop of Aschumin, his works . . • 191 
Sevems, Metropolitan of Aznm .... 224 

Silvester, Patriarch ..... 356 

Simon, Patriarch , . . . . .83 

his asceticism ..... 84 

his death • . . . . .90 

Simon TL, Patriarch .... 146 

Simony justified by a Council of Jacobite Bishops . • .211 

Solar years, computation by, forbidden . . 238 

Sophronius, Patriarch • . . . .146 

Sophronius II. . • . • . . 185 
Sophronius II., Patriarch ..... 250 

Tecla Haimanot founds the Monastic Life in Ethiopia . 74 

Theodore Scribo, Patriarch . • . . .51 

his murder ... 52 

Theodore^ Patriarch . . . . .98 

dies ...... 109 

Theodore Balsamon, applied to by Mark of Alexandria . 273 

Theodosians and Gaianites, fiilse concordat between . 43 

Theodo8iu9, Patriarch . . . . 33 





Theodosius, Patriarch .... 



Theod<mu8 11. , Patriarch . , . . 

. 321 

Theqphanius, Patriarch .... 



he is seized with frenzy 

. 186 

and is put to death 



Theophylactians, Catholics so called . . 


Three Chapters condemned by Justinian 



by the Fifth CEcumenical Council 


Tiberias, battle of .... 



Timothy ^e Cat sent into exile 


goes to Constantinople 



returns to Egypt 



Timothy Saloaciolus, Patriarch 



Jhnothy JL, Patriarch . . . . 


Treasure, discovery and misuse of . 



Tredda Gabez, Empress of Ethiopia 

. 197 

Trullo, Council in ... . 



Turks, a body-guard formed of, by the Caliphs 

, 168 

Two Grooms of the Chamber, church of 



Type, the publication of ... . 

. 77 

Uniatea, rise of . 



Urban VIII., his interrogatories to Cyril Lucar 

. 419 

Uytenbogaert, his correspondence with Cyril Lucar 



Vasah, his early history . . . , 

. 193 

his conyersion .... 



his works . . . . . 

. 195 

VigiUus goes to Constantinople 



his vacillation . • . « 


Vizir ..... 



Yon Haga becomes acquainted with Cyril Lucar • 

. 364 

Wilna, Council of • . • 



Wine, use of it forbidden to the Christians 

. 156 

Woggora, battle of • . . . 



Vugab, Patriarch . . . . , 


* 148 

Yu9ab is persecuted by the Caliph 



Zacharias, King of Nubia, his negociations with the Caliph 

. 150 

Zacharias, Patriarch . . • , 



he is exposed to lions 


. 202 

he dies .... 



1 ••,■ 

1 ^ *'^^V9